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An (Updated) Harry Potter Vocabulary Guide

This year, Harry Potter fans are thankful for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The new movie, released last week, gives fans a chance to revisit the wizarding world. But this time, the action happens on the other side of the pond, in  1920’s New York.

If you have friends who love Harry Potter, you might have noticed them lapsing into “Harry Potter-speak,” even in casual conversation. J.K. Rowling created a rich vocabulary for her fantasy world. But what if you don’t speak the language? What’s a muggle to do?

Read our Harry Potter vocabulary guide, of course! This handy glossary will make it easier to converse with your Hogwart’s-loving friends.

Harry Potter Vocabulary Guide – Words From the Original Series 

Animagus (plural: Animagi): Wizards who can transform into animals.

Auror: A magical detective who hunts dark witches and wizards.

Butterbeer: a favorite boozy drink of wizards, butterbeer is usually served warm and is described as tasting of butterscotch.

Muggles: normal, non-magical humans. This word has actually escaped the confines of Rowling’s fantasy universe and is now listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. According to LanguageRealm.com, Rowling claims the term is based on the insult “mug,” but it was first used as the name for a villain in a short story by Lewis Carroll, and was also used as slang for marijuana back in the 20’s.

Apparate/Disapparate: to “disapparate” is to disappear. After disapparating from a particular location, a wizard can then “apparate” somewhere else, no matter how far away. From the Latin “appareo,” to become visible. Read more