movie harry potter

I was thinking this weekend about how awkward it was that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them insists that Americans call muggles “no-maj.” First off, it just doesn’t sound like an abbreviation we’d use, and it sounds even worse in plural. But I finally realized the more important point: it’s too direct. Especially for the time period, Americans would never have been that straightforward in talking about a topic that sensitive. And so I would like to submit, in the spirit of early twentieth-century slang, a list of possible euphemisms we may have used for muggles:

  • He washes his dishes with a cloth.
  • He pays in nickels and dimes.
  • He rides the trolley to work. 
  • He takes his boots to the cobbler.
  • He’s grateful for Mr. Edison.
  • He’s one of Grisham’s boys. (here imagining that Grisham was a prominent wizard who famously fathered no magic children)
  • He dances on the ground.
  • He writes with a pen.
  • He’s fond of a two-piece suit.
  • He’s more King Arthur than Merlin.
  • He’s got to wind his pocket watch.
  • He gets his wax from bees.
  • His wife darns his socks.
  • He treats his ailments with tonics.
  • His portraits stay put.
  • His broom is only for sweeping.

I’m having a little too much fun with this, so if you have any to add, please send them over.