A movement in the trees behind Ronan made Hagrid raise his bow again, but it was only a second centaur, black-haired and -bodied and wilder-looking than Ronan.
(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

There is no lexical word of -bodied. Is it a shortened form of black-bodied?

1 Answer 1


Yes, you've got it right. JKR didn't want to duplicate the word "black", so it is implied to be the word before the hyphen (because it is the word before the preceding hyphen, in black-haired.) The term for this is suspended hyphens.

This seems a ridiculously short answer, but I'm not sure what else there is to say to answer your question.

  • 2
    You could lengthen the answer a little bit by talking about the other use of suspended hyphens; that is, when the suspended hyphen is trailing the word, rather than preceding it, e.g., "Harry's Potions class is populated mainly by third- and fourth-year students." Or maybe there's no need to now. :^) Unless you want to, and then this can be deleted.
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 9:41

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