Wizarding Words and Their Muggle Meanings

We all know that J.K. Rowling is a wizard when it comes to words, but what do some of the words that have specific meanings in the magical world mean in the Muggle language? While there are many examples of words from different languages and contractions of more than one word that form spells and names in the Harry Potter series, there are also words that exist in the English dictionary that also mean something in the wizarding world. This list is comprised of the latter – words that have Muggle definitions and as a whole (not part of the word or a variation) mean something to Rowling’s readers.


Arabella_Figg Squib

Muggle definition: A small, slight, or weak person, especially a child.

This definition describes the weakness or complete lack of magic running through a Squib.


ron bezoar


Muggle definition: A small stony concretion that may form in the stomach of certain animals, especially ruminants, and which was once used as an antidote for various ailments.

It’s interesting that something that sounds fictional is actually real.




Muggle definition: A bumblebee

Rowling once said that Dumbledore ended up with this name because of his love for music. The author pictured the Headmaster roaming the halls of Hogwarts humming to himself.


David Bradley - Argus Filch


Muggle definition: To steal (especially something of small value); pilfer.

What has Filch stolen? Maybe this is more to do with students stealing from him. Fred and George notoriously nicked the Marauder’s Map from Filch’s office. This is one of those ones that doesn’t quite match up.




Muggle definition: Malodorous tobacco.

This one is well synchronized. Mundungus is often mostly obscured by the thick smoke from his pipe.





Muggle definition: (peeve) A source of annoyance or irritation.

If Peeves isn’t irritating, I don’t know what is…


Rita Skeeter


Muggle definition: Mosquito

Rita has a thing with insects… her personality does remind me of a mosquito. It’s like you try to swat her away, but she keeps coming back.





Muggle definition: To put into a state of little to no sensibility; benumb the faculties of; put into a stupor.

That about sums it up…

Amy Hogan

I was 9 years old when I discovered the magic that is “Harry Potter.” I am a proud Hufflepuff and exceedingly good at eating, reading, being sarcastic, and over-thinking small tasks. Since I spent too much time worrying about the correct way to write this bio, this is all I was able to come up with before the deadline.