[Ads-l] "muggles" = marijuana (1922)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 16 07:26:12 EDT 2018


I was inspired to look into the marijuana sense of "muggle(s)" after being
interviewed by WGBH about various "mug" words:

https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2018/08/15/youve-probably-said-muggy-a-lot-this-august-ever-wonder-where-that-word-comes-from

J.K. Rowling's use of "muggle" is said to be inspired by "mug" in the sense
of "foolish person." One wonders if the marijuana meaning (which the
dictionaries say is "origin unknown") might have likewise had something to
do with how those under the influence act foolishly.


On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 11:51 PM, Mark Mandel <mark.a.mandel at gmail.com>
wrote:

> So, wizards consider the rest of us to be "dopes"?
>
> Mark Mandel
>
>
> On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 7:33 PM Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > "muggle(s)" = 'marijuana (cigarette)' (OED3 1926)
> >
> > Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.), Feb. 18, 1922, p. 20, col. 1
> > (Genealogybank)
> > Passage of a drastic law to curb the constantly growing practice of
> selling
> > and smoking marijuana, also known as muggles, will be sought at the next
> > session of the Legislature, Dr. Oscar Dowling, president of the State
> Board
> > of Health, said Friday.
> >
> > New Orleans Item, May 29, 1922, p. 18, col. 6 (Genealogybank)
> > The spreading menace of marihuana, otherwise known as "muggles," "Mary
> > Warner," or cannibus [sic] indica, among youth of the state is causing
> > agitation for a state law to penalize peddling of the drug.
> >
> > Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.), May 29, 1922, p. 20, col. 3
> > (Genealogybank)
> > Detective Paul R. Maureau testified that the boy, 14 years old, was the
> > member of a gang that was accustomed to smoke "mirauana" or "muggles"
> > cigarettes, which are supposed to produce recklessness unrivalled by
> other
> > "dope."
> >
> > --bgz
>
>

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