Here’s a question you probably weren’t expecting to hear: What do burnouts and Harry Potter fans have in common?
To all of you fans camping outside your local cinemas to watch the first showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two, the term “muggle” will conjure images of cruel aunts and uncles and a nasty cousin or two.
However, the Atlantic Wire reports that to the New Orleans jazz crowd of the 20s, the term muggle was a slang term for marijuana. The Atlantic points back to, of all places, a TIME article from 1931 which states that the definition of muggle is “a variety of hemp weed long common in Mexico”. To think that all this time muggle-borns were potheads, not Potterheads (ahem, sorry).
In 2003, the Oxford English Dictionary added “muggle” to its list, reports the Atlantic Wire, and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has said that the etymology stems from the British slang “mug” as “an easily fooled person”. She also has said she hadn’t realized the term’s druggie past.
So for those of you who might be Rowling up a joint (ahem, again, sorry) be aware: you are more magical than you may have thought.