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Harry looked up and saw, floating twenty feet above them, Peeves the Poltergeist, a little man in a bell-covered hat and orange bow tie, his wide, malicious face contorted with concentration as he took aim again. (p172, Harry Potter 4, US edition)

Would you get some specific picture from ‘a bell-covered hat’?

A flop hat, like a bellflower?

A clown hat, whose every horn has a small bell on its tip?

A strange hat, which is encrusted with bells?

I’d be happy if you could give me the right image of the hat.

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@Random832,@Ham and Bacon I got a good understanding thanks to both of you. All in all, I took it as an expression which needs paraphrase or explanation to make a clear image. – user7493 Jun 11 '11 at 0:50
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I would picture "A clown hat, whose every horn has a small bell on its tip", but I think it's an odd way of saying it.

One of the only unrelated results I could find on Google is this, which has a character who is dressed as a jester - jesters stereotypically wear such multi-pointed hats.

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Thank you! I read the article you mentioned. ‘His bell-covered hat’ is rephrased as ‘his jester hat’ a few lines later. It showed me clearly one possible picture of the hat. – user7493 Jun 10 '11 at 22:53
Do keep in mind, though, that the fact that there were only a few results means it's not a common phrase for this, and the two authors may well have meant different things. – Random832 Jun 11 '11 at 4:42

The text says it is a bell-covered hat, but does not mention that it is in the shape of a jester, or has horns to it, so I would take that it meant

a strange hat, which is encrusted with bells.

Which would suit his orange bow tie

share|improve this answer
Thank you! Your answer strongly supports my understanding. – user7493 Jun 10 '11 at 22:52

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