We all know a few people who may need some rehabilitation therapy to cure their Harry Potter addiction once the credits role on the franchise's final film tonight. But just how long have people been suffering from Harry-related addictions?
In fact, a Time magazine article all the way from 1931 warns of the problem. "In New Orleans many a schoolchild is said to be an addict," it reads. "Prison authorities find muggle-smuggling a perplexing problem."
Hold on--muggle smuggling?!
News reports this week have had plenty of fun with J.K. Rowling's term for non-magical people. And who can blame them? The term has been fair game ever since the Oxford English Dictionary added it back in 2003. Rowling says she fashioned the word as a play on the British slang "mug" or "an easily fooled person."
That makes sense, but the fact is the term was in use much earlier, beginning with the New Orleans jazz crowd, as a term for a marijuana cigarette. Read, for instance, an excerpt from jazz clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow's memoir Really the Blues:
"We used to roll our cigarettes right out in the open and light up like you would on a Camel or a Chesterfield. To us a muggle wasn't any more dangerous or habit-forming than those other great American vices, the five-cent Coke and the ice-cream cone, only it gave you more kicks for your money."