Entertainment Weekly just gave us our first taste of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, including a tantalizing detail from J.K. Rowling: the American term for “muggle.” “No-maj” is a shortened form of “no magic,” and judging by social media, Harry Potter fans hate this idea already.
But let’s be real here: “no-maj” does not sound any sillier than “muggle” did the first time round.
J.K. Rowling loves wordplay, as proven by her decision to name a werewolf Remus Lupin (approximate translation: “Wolfy McWolf”) or dream up puns like Knockturn Alley. Most names in Harry Potter are either puns or mythological references, often with a Dickensian twist that illustrates a character’s personality: Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, and so on.
It’s really no surprise that Rowling wanted to invent some new slang for the very different setting of 1920s New York.
A muggleborn ravenclaw who’s really interested in math and science but doesn’t want to leave magic behind so they have to go to muggle summer school because Hogwarts doesn’t teach basic things like math.