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THE "HARRY POTTER" SAGA is a magical tale full of adventure and magic. At least, it is for people who like to read books. For those of you who prefer your entertainment seared into your retinas through moving images, there is finally a film version in theaters. Use this cheat-sheet reference if you're a casual moviegoer confused by the strange world of Quidditch, Muggles and British children.

Harry Potter: The hero of the eponymous book series. He's the green, one-eyed monster on the movie posters.
Ministry of Magic: Government agency in charge of enforcing the rules of magic and alliteration.
Gryffindor: Actor best known for his roles in "After Hours" and "Who's That Girl?" Son of Vanity Fair writer Domynnickdor.
Hogwarts Academy: The training camp for young Hobbits.
Flat: Apartment
Quidditch: A hole in the ground in which to put your quid.
You-Know-Who: You know who it is. Don't kid yourself. It's Warwick Davis, diminutive star of "Willow" and "Leprechaun"!
Azkaban: Country that borders Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
Hufflepuff: Star of the classic Sid and Marty Krofft show "H.R. Hufflepuff." Still loved by Gen-Xers who assume that the name is a reference to "huffing" inhalants.
Lorry: Truck
Lift: Elevator
Madame Hooch: A stern teacher at Hogwarts Academy. Whenever Harry gets into trouble with her, his friends say "Harry's got a little problem with the Hooch." This is a source of embarrassment for Harry, as his father was a heavy drinker.
Colour: Archaic, anal-rententive spelling of "color."
Guy Fawkes: Guido "Guy" Fawkes lead the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, wherein he and his cohorts smuggled several barrels of gunpowder into the basement of Parliament. The plot was foiled at the last minute, and Fawkes was hanged, then beheaded and drawn and quartered. Today, children all around Britain celebrate "Guy Fawkes Night" on November 5th by shooting off fireworks and burning effigies of Fawkes. Guy Fawkes is referenced in chapter nine of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" when Harry says offhandedly, "With all this wizardry, we're sure to miss 'Guy Fawkes Night' this year."
Bangers and Mash: Sausage and mashed potatoes.
Spotted Dick: A dessert made of raisins and beef fat. Served with custard in order to make edible.
The Order of the Phoenix: Turkey and Swiss on a roll, onion rings, cream soda.
Ravenclaw: The gnarled left hand of the girl who played Olivia on "The Cosby Show."
Slytherin: British spelling of "Slithering."
Hedwig: Appears in the third book. Don't ask about the inch. Just don't.
Hogsmeade: A popular drink among British wizards. Tastes like the liquid squeezed from spotted dick.
Raistlin: A name used on sci-fi/fantasy newsgroups by people who don't care how lame they come off.
Chris Columbus: Hollywood director responsible for such beloved classics as "Bicentennial Man" and "Nine Months."
Sandy Denny: Lead singer of the traditional folk-rock group Fairport Convention. Sings backup on "The Battle of Evermore," a song by the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin that may be based on elements of the Potter books.
Adamantium: Super-strong material found in the brooms used by the students at Hogwarts Academy.
The Labour Party: British political party. Core beliefs are that power, wealth, and opportunity should be in the hands of the many and not the few and that by working together towards a common goal, we can achieve more than by working alone. Similar to communism.
Ralph Bashki: Responsible for the animated Harry Potter film from the late 70s. Considered to be inferior by many fans for the way it condensed the book and its heavy use of roto-scoping.
Kippers: Traditional smoked fish popular among the youth of England.
"Hello Guv'nor": Popular greeting used by the children at Hogwarts Academy. Note that the "H" is silent.
"Arse over elbow": Head over heels.
"Bob's your uncle": Bob is your uncle.
"Bumming a fag": Borrowing your friend's homosexual aquantaince. E.g., "Can I bum a fag from you? I've got tickets to 'Mamma Mia' tonight."
Baggage reclaim: Area to pick up your luggage at the airport.
Loo: Instead of. As in, "in loo of" something.

Also by Nick Nadel:
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FAQ: PlayStation 2

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