(As an incredibly beautiful girl with silvery hair crossed the Hall, many boys gaped at her.)

"I’m telling you, that's not a normal girl!" said Ron, leaning sideways so he could keep a clear view of her. "They don’t make them like that at Hogwarts!"

"They make them okay at Hogwarts," said Harry without thinking. Cho happened to be sitting only a few places away from the girl with the silvery hair.

(p252-253, Harry Potter 4, US edition)

NB – Hogwarts, the school of Ron and Harry, is having a lot of guests for Triwizard Tournament. The beautiful girl is one of the guests in a guest school. Cho is a pretty girl in Hogwarts. Harry likes her very much.

I’d like to know

  • who ‘they’ are.
  • who ‘them’ are.
  • what ‘make’ means.

In other words, the whole sentence! I’d be happy if you could help me.


The "they" is the same "they" as in "that's what they say".

It used to be a commonplace to say "they don't make them like that any more" -- "them" being cars or clothes or whatever, and "they" being whoever was in the business of manufacturing such things. Greg Kihn had a #15 hit in 1981 with "The Breakup Song", known for its recurring lyric "They don't write 'em like that anymore", referring to songs.

Ron is making a play on words, implying girls at the school were being built in place, and the faculty, or the girls' parents, should be responsible for producing for silvery-haired Asian chicks of a particularly high quality.

  • – Thank you for the quick response. By the way, excuse me, but what is #15?
    – user7493
    Jun 30 '11 at 6:14
  • 2
    And, of course, they could build girls at Hogwarts, but it's probably against the school rules.
    – pavium
    Jun 30 '11 at 6:17
  • Anyway, I got it thanks to your good explanation. The recurring lyric is circling in my mind now.
    – user7493
    Jun 30 '11 at 6:27
  • I reckon what Ron was getting at, was that girls "nowadays" aren't as nice as that silver-haired girl he was looking at. He was stating that the girl was beautiful in an "oldie" type of way, but still beautiful.
    – Thursagen
    Jun 30 '11 at 6:56
  • 1
    @totoro -- #15 means that it was at one point fifteenth on the Billboard chart. @Ham -- the original phrase "make them like that any more" compares then with now, but I think Ron was comparing Hogwarts with wherever the girl was from. Jun 30 '11 at 7:24

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