When Harry goes to the zoo with Dudley and the Dursleys they mention that Harry gets to finish Dudley's Knickerbocker Glory. As someone living in the US I'm slightly unsure of what a knickerbocker is, my assumption was it was a type of pants. how do pants translate into dessert?

So what is a Knickerbocker Glory exactly?

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    Off-topic, migrate to Seasoned Advice ;-) – Rand al'Thor Dec 7 '15 at 0:18
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    Harry Potter and the <s>Sorcerer's</s> Philosopher's Stone uses the word "Knickerbocker" in both senses: pants and sundae. It confused me too when I first read it. I just assumed it was yet another of those weird ways they talk in the UK where they don't know English right. – davidbak Dec 7 '15 at 3:00
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    Seriously? Googling Knickerbocker Glory would have been less work than typing out this question. – Kevin Dec 7 '15 at 14:41
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    @Kevin Ah yeah, but Google does not give you any rep :) – Au101 Dec 7 '15 at 15:10
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    @user568458 mischief managed . – Himarm Dec 7 '15 at 16:34

It's a type of sundae also known as a Knickerbocker Glory. From Wikipedia:

A knickerbocker glory is a layered cream sundae that is served in a large tall conical glass to be eaten with a distinctive long spoon, particularly in the British Isles.

The knickerbocker glory, first described in the 1920s, may contain ice cream, cream, fruit, meringue. Layers of these different sweet tastes are alternated in a tall glass and topped with different kinds of syrup, nuts, whipped cream and often a cherry.

Here's a recipe telling you how to make one. And here's a picture of one:

enter image description here

There seems to be a lot of disagreement on the internet over the precise origin of the term "Knickerbocker Glory". But according to our colleagues over at the English Language & Usage SE, specifically Josh61 and Hot Licks (may upvotes rain down upon them and the site be ever in their favour), the most likely explanation as to the origin of the term "Knickerbocker Glory" is the following:

It has no connection with nether garments; the term was presumably inspired by Diedrich Knickerbocker, the mock-Dutch name invented by Washington Irving for the fictitious author of his History of New York. This subsequently became synonymous with the descendants of the original Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam, and eventually with New Yorkers in general - so a knickerbocker glory is essentially a tribute to New York. The term is first recorded in the 1930s.

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    United States Dentist Association Bonus will arrive in your mailbox in a week. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 7 '15 at 1:07
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    in places which serve it, the Knickerbocker Glory is generally the largest sundae on the menu (in the UK), hence it is common that children struggle to finish one, leaving some left over for the unfavoured boy who lives under the stairs. – Joseph Rogers Dec 7 '15 at 10:44
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    Tl;DR user didn't search for it. – Alec Teal Dec 7 '15 at 14:22
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    @JosephRogers We should, of course, point out that it is common, in the UK, for there to be unfavoured boys living under the stairs ;) – Au101 Dec 7 '15 at 15:10
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    @Au101 absolutely, I quite forgot that it might seem unusual to people from other countries. – Joseph Rogers Dec 7 '15 at 15:34

It's an ice cream sundae, though it's usually known as a Knickerbocker Glory:

A knickerbocker glory is a layered cream sundae that is served in a large tall conical glass to be eaten with a distinctive long spoon, particularly in the British Isles.


  • Ninja'd by 9 seconds!! – Rand al'Thor Dec 7 '15 at 0:18
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    @randal'thor I wasted too much time wondering why he didn't spend 5 seconds to Google it. – Anthony Grist Dec 7 '15 at 0:19
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    @AnthonyGrist i did google it which is why i called it a sundae instead of glory like in the book, i edited my question a bit >.< haha – Himarm Dec 7 '15 at 0:21

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