wave an airy hand


Senior Member
German - Deutsch
Hello there!

'Fred and George gave them to me! (a witch's hat and a spectacular golden necklace to Christmas) Aren't they beautiful?'
'Well, we find we appreciate you more and more, Mum, now we're washing our own socks,' said George waving an airy hand.
(Harry Potter)

What does it mean, waving an airy hand? I've found some translations like: not serious, haughty or affected.

Isn't he serious about what he had said? Is he just joking? I'm not convinced.

Can you help me?

Thanks in advance!

  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    In this situation he's probably waving away her thanks: "No need to thank us, it was nothing much." An airy hand can also be haughty, as when one is sending a servant away: "That's all. You can go now." At first I thought George was doing this, treating his mother like a servant who washes his clothes, but on reflection I think he was saying he doesn't need to be thanked much: she was doing valuable work for him (washing his clothes). It is all, of course, George's joking style of talking.
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