[Ads-l] Muggles

Bill Mullins amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 18 21:40:49 EST 2021

The recent debut of Jesse's online SF dictionary has me looking at terms that have emerged from genre literature into broader usage, like kryptonite.

"Muggle" is another such term, and the OED has both the Rowling sense and the extended sense.  There is, however, another more specific extended usage which is not captured by the OED.

Magicians (the sleight-of-hand, stage conjuring kind) use "muggle" to refer to people who are not knowledgeable about the methods of conjurors.

2012 _Magic_ Aug. 70/1
On this particular occasion I was accompanied by a non-magician, or "Muggle," if you prefer.

2013 _The Magic Circular_  Aug. 245/2
My wife, Chloe, who has had to endure far too many magic shows for a muggle, gave the whole evening her definite approval, which is praise indeed.

2014 _The Magic Circular_ Aug. 234/2
It's much better to see the effect performed live, and preferably on a muggle.

2016 _Genii_ Jun. 19/1
As a wobbly, muddle-headed "muggle" at the age of 11, I sought systematic ways to learn magic.

2017 _M-U-M_ Oct. 64/1
The method is very clever, and will fool almost anyone, magician and muggle alike.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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