ByMona Torgersen, writer at
Staff Writer, lover of all things fantastical and supporter of House Martell. Follow me on twitter @monatorgersen
Mona Torgersen

Potterheads prepare – Harry Potter himself has finally broken the Silencio spell and voiced his opinion on the recent controversy surrounding the replacement of the word 'Muggle' in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

In case you didn't get the memo, it was recently announced by J.K. Rowling that American wizards don't use the word 'Muggle' for non-magical humans. Instead, they use the somewhat blunt word 'No-Maj' (pronounced no-madge) which literally means 'No Magic.' Harry Potter fans across the world have taken to social media to express their disapproval.

DanRad to the rescue

While Rowling herself has yet to respond to the criticism, Daniel Radcliffe is defending the word in a recent interview with Mashable.

"I have no strong opinions about this. We have different words in England, so it makes perfect sense that there should be a different word for it in America."

The interview in question is to promote his new film Victor Frankenstein where he plays alongside James McAvoy. McAvoy was also present, and he jokingly expressed his shock that Radcliffe didn't have a strong opinion about the word.

"You have no strong feelings about this? It doesn't keep you up at night? I'm outraged!"

And with Radcliffe being the comedic genius that he is, he replied with a witty comeback.

"I'd be more excited to see what wizards from America and wizards from the U.K. fight about, like coriander versus cilantro. That's a lot of the prequel actually, it starts with 10 pages of that."

I don't know about you guys, but I'm currently imagining wizards angrily slapping each other with herbs as they argue which word is correct.

What other magical words would be different in America?

Apparently No-Maj isn't going to be the only new word we see in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Entertainment Weekly reported that J.K. Rowling "is poised to introduce several new words into the Potterverse lexicon." So what words could we potentially see? Perhaps a Hippogriff will be known as a bird-horse, dragons as big fire lizards and wands as magical sticks.

(I would love to hear more suggestions in the comments section, by the way.)

Oxford dictionary

Replacing the word Muggle was bound to cause some controversy, it is beloved by the fandom and even made its way into the Oxford dictionary.

It will be interesting to see if the word No-Maj will ever achieve the same, but somehow I doubt it. It really sounds too much like 'Nicki Minaj' and it's definitely in the danger zone for turning into a vagina joke.


How do you feel about No-Maj?

Sources:, and


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