Muggle - Usage in Harry Potter

Usage in Harry Potter

The term muggle is sometimes used in a pejorative manner in the books. Since muggle refers to a person who is a member of the non-magical community, Muggles are simply ordinary human beings rather than witches and wizards. According to 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. The most prominent Muggle-born in the Harry Potter series is Hermione Granger, who had two muggles of unspecified names as parents. A witch or wizard with all magical heritage is called a pure-blood.

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, the 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 the non-magical spouses of some witches and wizards.

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".

A 'muggle' is, according to Abbott Walter Bower, the author of the Scotichronicon, "an Englishman's tail". In Alistair Moffat's book, A History of the Borders from Early Times it is stated that there was a widely held 13th century belief amongst Scots that Englishmen had tails.

Rowling herself was sued for using the word "muggle" in the Harry Potter books.

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