‘No-Maj’ vs. Muggle: The Hows and Whats for Rowling’s Magical Vocabulary in ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’
Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander is all set to take to the magical menagerie in Harry Potter spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, and now series author J. K. Rowling is taking on the magical vocabulary. “Fantastic Beasts..” will see an entirely new word for the non-magical ‘muggles’ who inhabit the Harry Potter universe.
If you hated being a muggle, you’re not gonna like like this one at all: according to Entertainment Weekly the American word of muggle is apparently “No-Maj” (pronounced no-madge, implying non-magical). We expect to encounter a lot of this in 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts” as English magizoologist Newt Scamander goes to New York to manage the fantastic bestiary (and eventually write the book that makes its way into Harry Potter’s Hogwarts’ coursework).
The blunt, almost insulting no-maj is a far cry from the idiosyncratic (and kind of cute) English version, carrying a negative connotation: the lack of magic. One of the most fabulous things about Rowling’s writing is that every word, or name that she has coined usually carries a deeper ramification. Consider for example ‘Sirius Black’, referring to the character’s animagus nature: Sirius is the ‘dog’ star, so the name literally becomes black dog (which is a spoiler we all missed). Or Remus Lupin ( Remus: one of the founders of ancient Rome, and lupine: wolf-like). Or, for that matter, Dolores Umbridge (dolorous umbrage, anyone?).
The point being: Rowling is not one to throw words into the mix willy-nilly, and if no-maj is the new word for muggle, there must be a reason for it. Perhaps the bluntness of the word suggests the blunt, rough and tumble nature of the New World and the magicians thereof?
There is a year of wait to find out, until “Fantastic Beasts..” hits screens on Nov 18, 2016.
Photo Source: Facebook/Fantastic Beasts and Where to find Them