"Don't worry, the Weasleys are more than a match for the Bludgers -- I mean, they're like a pair of human Bludgers themselves."
-- Oliver Wood about Fred and George Weasley (PS10)
A Bludger is a round jet-black iron ball, 10 inches in diameter – that is, slightly smaller than a Quaffle – one of the four balls used in playing the game of Quidditch (in which two Bludgers are used at any one time). A Bludger always attacks and attempts to unseat the nearest player, which is why Beaters attempt to knock Bludgers toward opposing players (PS10, QA6).
Originally a Bludger was just a rock enchanted to make it attack the players as a modern Bludger does, but the use of rocks was abandoned in favour of other substances since Beaters’ bats could eventually smash them into gravel (QA6).
Lead was experimented with, but abandoned because after a lead Bludger had taken a beating, indentations would be left on its surface that affected its ability to fly properly (QA6).
A Bludger is mentioned in a Norwegian poem from the 1400s written by Ingolfr the Iambic:
“As I draw ever closer, the crowd gives a shout
But then comes a Bludger and I am knocked out.” (QA8)
Bludger, as the word is used in Quidditch, may have derived from the English word bludgeon, meaning a "thick stick with a heavy end, used as a weapon" or "to beat (someone) repeatedly with a bludgeon or other heavy object" (Oxford English Dictionary). Alternatively, in Australian slang, a bludger is a lazy or idle person who avoids work (Oxford English Dictionary).
Lexicon list of Quidditch fouls
From the Web
Writing by J.K. Rowling on Pottermore:
- History of the Quidditch World Cup
- 2014 Quidditch World Cup reports
- 2014 Quidditch World Cup final
- The Daily Prophet
- The British and Irish Quidditch League
- British and Irish Quidditch teams to support
- Quidditch collection
Harry Potter Wiki: Quidditch