LOL Thank you, Croll and Fenella for the information!
Yeah, I think you could used Pumpkin. It might be less common here than in Canada, but I don't think it's unheard of. For other pet names used here, there's quite a lot of variety, and probably regional variation too, so other people might use different things. Ones that spring to mind are Poppet/Moppet, Sweet-Pea, Diddums (lol), Chicky... Of course, things like Sweetie and Honey or Darling could be used just as well if you want something simpler. Oh, and bear in mind that I'm not a parent!
Do you have in mind a particular area that Hannah's dad is from? Because accent varies depending on which part of the country you're from, as it does everywhere else. If you're using "ken", then I'd say that's a northern/Scottish accent (someone correct me if I'm wrong), but it's rarely heard now. He'd have to be a very traditional man to use that.
The bit that makes it sound Irish is "mam". To stick with a Northern dialect, you can just use "mum" because that's how it would normally be said. Hope that helps a bit!
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Ken (= know) is definitely Scots, not Northern English. I'd say knaa. It's the way we talk, tha knaa's?
Mam, may be irish, but it's also northern english and it's busily dying out rom Mrseyside and Yorkshire northwards. Mam is still common in the north, but a lot less than it used to be. However, in Scotland it would be Ma, or even Maw.
If you're interested, many surnames tend to be regional and there is a big cluster of Abbots around Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire. I set my Hannah story just north of thar cluster, in Cumbria.
Ma is quite London, actually. Not that my kids call me anything but Mum, but an older generation might say 'Goin' to see me ma' (I'm thinking EastEnders here and my husband) - but pronounced Mar.
Regarding Abbott, there's a grave in Godric's Hollow with that surname on it. Godric's Hollow is South West England (Exmoor etc), so if you want a rural accent from there, then think of Hagrid. Robbie Coltrane may be Scottish, but his Hagrid accent is West Country.
I was wondering if British teens during the Marauder era would have said something like freak out? As in, it freaked me out or you really freaked out... I'm thinking that is very American from that time period, but I'm not sure. I think Austin Powers says it, doesn't he? Anyway, if not, is there a phrase teens would have used when talking about being disturbed by something? Not something horrifying, but more like, I don't know... Lily realizing she really likes James and it freaks her out. That sort of thing.
ETA: Thanks, Carole. That does help.
Hmmm, that's stumped me. You know something, I'm really not sure about the phrase 'freaked out' and have been trying to search around on the net but can't find much. It doesn't sound out of place to me, meaning that if I saw it in a story in the context you've said, then I wouldn't pick on it as anachronistic. It sounds quite hippy-dippy sixties/seventies to me, so Lily could have picked up on it. Whether those who weren't Muggle born would is a different matter.
The best clue, acrually, is Petunia referring to her sister as a freak when she's about to go to Hogwarts. So it's quite reasonable that Lily could think something is 'freaking her out'.
Hope that helps.
The term freak out did originate in the late 1960s. I'm not so sure it would have jumped the pond and then made its way into the wizarding community for the Maruaders to use it.
Is anybody familiar with traffic conditions at Charing Cross Road? My characters arrive at the Leaky Cauldron by taxi sometime in the late afternoon or early evening on a Saturday. Would there be a lot of foot or vehicular traffic?
ETA: Thanks Carole. I had a feeling I wrote myself into a corner. I'll just have to find a way to write myself back out of it.
Last edited by tagriffy; 04-20-2013 at 11:06 PM. Reason: Thanking Carole