Americans Don’t Call Muggles ‘Muggle,’ According To J.K. Rowling

In the most explosive Harry Potter news since J.K. Rowling said she regretted putting Ron and Hermione together,  the author revealed that American wizards and witches apparently don’t use the word “muggle.” That’s only a British English term.

As Entertainment Weekly reports, we instead refer to non-magical humans by the term “no-maj,” short for “no magic.” Just like the people it refers to, this term sounds decidedly un-magical and un-whimsical (it’s pronounced “no madge”). And also very, very American.

People are, of course, grumbling about the revelation on Twitter (Mashable has a compilation of responses). Maybe the word isn’t all that bad, though, especially used in a sentence like this:

The term will make its debut in the film adaptation for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which follows one of Harry’s textbook writers, Newt Scamander, after he moves to the States in 1926. And for any of you wanting to blame someone else for the phrase, here’s some sad news: the screenplay was written by Rowling herself. Rowling’s screenplay will also introduce other previously unheard of Harry Potter-specific words, and, hopefully clue us in to other facets of what it’s like to be an American witch or wizard versus a British one.

Entertainment Weekly also revealed cast images for Fantastic Beasts, prominently featuring Eddie Redmayne as Scamander. The film is expected to come out next fall.