- For all uses of the terms "Muggle" and "Muggles" other than those related to "Harry Potter", see Muggle (disambiguation)
Muggle is the word used in the Harry Potter series of books by J. K. Rowling to refer to a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born into the magical world. (A non-magical person who has wizards for parents is a Squib.) The word occurred in popular culture and literature prior to Rowling's adoption of it. However, the Harry Potter series popularised the word, and it has come into common usage in other contexts.
The term Muggle
is sometimes used in a pejorative
manner in the Harry Potter
books, the first of which was published in 1997. Since "Muggle" refers to a person who is a member of the non-magical community
, the Muggles are simply ordinary human beings rather than witches and wizards. According to J. K. Rowling, a quarter of the annual Hogwarts
intake have two non-magical parents; thus far in canon
, there have also been some children known to have been born to one magical and one non-magical parent. Children of this mixed parentage are called Half-bloods
(strictly speaking, they are 'Literal Half-bloods'); children with recent Muggle ancestry on the one side or the other are also called Half-bloods (strictly speaking, 'Technical Half-bloods').
In the Harry Potter books, non-magical people are often portrayed as foolish, sometimes befuddled characters who are completely ignorant of the Wizarding world that exists in their midst. If, by unfortunate means, non-magical people do happen to observe the working of magic, Ministry of Magic sends Obliviators to cast Memory Charms upon them causing them to forget the event.
Some Muggles, however, know of the Wizarding world. These include Muggle parents of magical children, such as Hermione Granger's parents, the Muggle Prime Minister (and his predecessors), the Dursley family (Harry Potter's non-magical and only living relatives), and non-magical spouses of witches and wizards.
J. K. Rowling has said she created the word "Muggle" from "mug", an English term for someone who is easily fooled. She added the "-gle" to make it sound less demeaning and more "cuddly".
The word "muggle" or "muggles" is now used in various contexts in which its meaning is similar to the sense in which it appears in the Harry Potter series of books:
- "Muggle" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2003, where it is said to refer to a person who is lacking a skill.
- "Muggle" is used in informal English by members of small, specialised groups, usually those which consider their activities to either be analogous to or directly involve magic (such as within hacker culture; and Pagans, Neopagans and Wiccans) to refer to those outside the group.
- "Muggle" (or geomuggle) is used by geocachers to refer to those not involved in or aware of the sport of geocaching. A cache that has been tampered with by non-participants is said to be "muggled".
- Among Lindy Hoppers, "Muggle" is a reference to "non-dancers" or "non-dance friends".