Breaking News: In America, Muggles Aren’t Called Muggles

There's an entirely different name for muggles across the pond...

Now before we start, let us just say that anything J.K. Rowling says or does is perfect and right and good and we must never question her.

However, we are a tad puzzled by the news that in America, where the new magical movie Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is set, muggles aren’t called muggles.

Instead, a muggle is called a ‘No-Maj’ – i.e. no magic. But why?

The world ‘muggle’ is such an important part of our culture that it even got added to the dictionary in 2003, under the definition ‘a person who is not conversant with a particular activity or skill’.

In case you don’t know what a muggle is and you’ve never read a Harry Potter book (shame on you), here’s a GIF of the very first time Harry hears the word to help you understand:


Source: giphy

There’s no explanation for why they don’t say the world ‘muggle’ across the pond. The movie is set in 1926 New York, so maybe the word ‘muggle’ hadn’t even been invented yet.

Or perhaps it’s just an Americanism like ‘sidewalk’ or ‘cellphone’.

All we can say to this is ‘Merlin’s beard!’ – there’d better be a good explanation as even for the most talented wordsmiths in the world, it would be hard to find a phrase as evocative and fun as ‘muggle’.

Perhaps the movie will convince us that ‘no-maj’ is a better phrase, but we’re not convinced yet.

Do you prefer ‘muggle’ or ‘no-maj’? Let us know @marieclaireuk

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