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Britpick - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
I'm going through TL:HM and mrs_norris_mous corrected a use of "fixtures" to refer to doorknobs and so on that are being replaced in the Shrieking Shack. What's the right word?

Oh, and is it "over holidays" or "over the holidays" when referring to something that happened on Christmas break?

(Anons: I don't know why everyone is getting screened! I didn't change my settings.)
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butterflysteve From: butterflysteve Date: July 6th, 2011 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)
We do use fixtures but that's more in relation to calling something fixtures and fittings. As in I replaced the fixtures and fittings of my house. Doorknob is only the round knob that you twist on a door, door handle is anything you pull down.

Over the holidays, or you could just refer to it as over Christmas. As in either over the holidays we saw Santa or over Christmas we went to a friend's house.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 6th, 2011 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2011 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I wouldn't use holidays unless they are on holiday from school or actually away on holiday (vacation). If they are adults (and not teachers) then it would be over Christmas. It would be over THE holidays, not just holidays, if you decide to use it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 6th, 2011 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
It did refer to holidays from school--she got something from Uncle George over Christmas/holidays/the holidays... whichever is right--and has brought it back to Hogwarts.
tdu000 From: tdu000 Date: July 6th, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was me. I'm having computer problems and hadn't realised I was logged out. As they are at Hogwarts, then she would have got it from Uncle George in the hoidays. I wouldn't even use 'over' unless it was something that took a period of time rather than was just given once. 'During' would probably be more usual than 'over' for a one-off gift. If it was a Christmas present then she would have just ,got it for Christmas from Uncle George.'

'Fixtures and fittings' is a house selling term but not one I've ever heard anyone say out of the context of selling a house or perhaps by someone who has overdosed on renovation TV programmes. To be honest, fixtures sounds more like a sporting term (as in a fixture list for the forth-coming season). Colloquially, depending on the context, someone might just start to list them, "all the doorknobs and handles and that sort of thing." But if you use 'fixtures and fittings' that would be OK for a Brit to use.
lyras From: lyras Date: July 7th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
"the holidays" if you're going to use it (or possibly "the Christmas holidays" if that's not overkill).

If it's actually a Christmas present, could you just say "for Christmas"?
sidealong From: sidealong Date: July 6th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)


In American architectural vocabulary, fixtures refers to things attached like toilets and sinks. Doorknobs & hinges etc. would be called hardware.

So I presume "fixtures and fittings" in Britain,"fittings" referring to what I would term hardware: doorknobs, hinges, cabinet pulls and knobs, etc.

Any Brits to verify my assumption?
esmeria From: esmeria Date: July 6th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: fixtures

Fixtures and fittings are generally the larger items... for fixtures, yeah it would be things like the toilet, the sink. For fittings, it would be more fitted kitchens, curtains and that kinda thing. A doorknob is just a doorknob, and everyone would understand what it means.

And definately 'over Christmas'. Holidays are pretty much only used in the context of school/work holidays and what you would call a vacation. I don't know of anyone from the UK that would say 'over the holidays I got x from my Uncle', it would always be 'I got x from my Uncle at Christmas'
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 6th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: fixtures

It is over the school vacation, though.

Basically, the context is that the doorknob is just one of the things Harry got Teddy for Christmas--he got him a selection of doorknobs, drawer pulls, etc.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 9th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually there is a boring British legal distinction between fixtures and fittings. It falls under Land Law and concens what is included when you purchase "land" (fixtures are included, fittings are not). A fixture is something that becomes an integral part of the "land" (e.g. a tree planted in the garden, skirting boards in the house) , a fitting is something that is not included in the sale of the land (e.g. chairs, paintings). In the UK it is common practice to fill out a "fixtures and fittings form" when buying a house, so that you agree with the seller exactly what is a "fixture" and therefore is included in your house purchase, and what is a "fitting" and will be removed by the seller.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 10th, 2011 12:15 am (UTC) (Link)
So, what do you call doorknobs and draw pulls and hinges and so on as a class? Hardware?
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