According to JK Rowling, we’ve been saying “muggle” all wrong

The Internet was abuzz yesterday with the first pictures of Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, the Harry Potter spin-off based on one of the textbooks used at Hogwarts. However, Redmayne’s awesome costume wasn’t the only thing that was revealed in the Entertainment Weekly cover story. J.K. Rowling, who also wrote the film, had some news: American wizards have a different word for “muggle.”

It’s not something we ever thought about, but since the film is set in 1926 New York versus 1990s in England, there’s probably a lot we don’t know about the culture. In America, the word for muggle is “No-Maj,” as is no-magic, pronounced exactly how it looks.

For those of us stateside, it’s crazy to discover we’ve been using the word incorrectly our entire lives. It was even added to the dictionary! (The OED defines “muggle” as “A person who is not conversant with a particular activity or skill.”) But now the “N” section is going to have to make some room, because No-Maj is here for good.

This is the first in hopefully many new things we’ll learn from the upcoming film. J.K. Rowling has always had a penchant for creating her own words, not to mention her own worlds, so the film is likely to be jam-packed with the little tidbits of wizard life that we just can’t get enough of.

(Image via Warner Bros)

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