mudhead = M = multician


[from J.K. Rowling's `Harry Potter' books, 1998] A non-wizard. Not as disparaging as luser; implies vague pity rather than contempt. In the universe of Rowling's enormously (and deservedly) popular children's series, muggles and wizards inhabit the same modern world, but each group is ignorant of the commonplaces of the others' existence - most muggles are unaware that wizards exist, and wizards (used to magical ways of doing everything) are perplexed and fascinated by muggle artifacts.

In retrospect it seems completely inevitable that hackers would adopt this metaphor, and in hacker usage it readily forms compounds such as `muggle-friendly'. Compare luser, mundane.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

The opposite of a wizard in the Harry Potter books, a muggle is someone who cannot do magic.

This has been appropiated for use with wizards of a different kind: the demon programmer. A quote from stephen, posting at The Rob Malda Rule at perlmonks.

When you're dealing with nonprogrammers (Muggles? Trivial persons? :) ) it's best to be armed with charts. Nonprogrammers will occasionally panic at screenfuls of text, but they often feel at home with pictures.
I wonder when this will enter The Jargon File?

Oops... I swear I didn't write it this way (my memory isn't very good, though), but this originally had Rob Malda listed as the person who came up with this quote. My bad... I apologise enormously...
Just something else I found... This, for example, from Hearst's American Magazine of July 1937:

An entire family was murdered by a youthful (marijuana) addict in Florida. When officers arrived at the home they found the youth staggering about in a human slaughterhouse. With an ax he had killed his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister.

He seemed to be in a daze.... He had no recollection of having committed the multiple crime. The officers knew him ordinarily as a sane, rather quiet young man; now he was pitifully crazed. They sought the reason. The boy said he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful friends called "muggles," a childish name for marijuana.


Apparently, the new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary claims that muggles is a word invented specifically by JK Rowling for her irritating little books.

Actually, the term dates back to 1920s America, when it was a black slang word for marijuana. It is also the name of a track by Louis Armstrong which featured on his 1928 collaboration with pianist Earl Hines.
Author Nancy K. Stouffer claims that she invented the word, in her activity books she self-published in the 80's, including the Legend of Rah, and Rah and the Muggles. Both authors created works involving magic, fantastic castles on mirrored lakes, and characters with disturbingly similar names (Harry Potter / Larry Potter).
Nancy is being sued by Time Warner and Scholastic to keep her from bad-mouthing the books. She is counter-suing for compensation, after out-of-court settlements failed.
This is not the first time she has sued for this. She objected to the use of the name "Muggle" for a character in the short-lived animated series Capitol Critters in 1992.
Sources: and

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