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Explaining Harry Potter To A Muggle

After talking about having a Harry Potter marathon over the weekend, I encountered two friends that had NEVER seen or read any of the Harry Potter books! That insanity prompted an in-depth lesson in Harry Potter culture.

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For everyone who has 'that friend,' here is a vocabulary list for just those times...

Basic Premise (Real World Style)

This is the true story... of one special boy... picked to live in a house with his two friends...who have their lives turned upside down and filmed for our world to see... to find out what happens... when people stop being Muggles... and start getting magical...The Magical World of Harry Potter.

Book Titles

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone = Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets = Ghost?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban = The Journey from A(zkaban)lcatraz

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire = The Challenges (aka Edward Dies)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix = Spirit Animals Unleashed

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince = The Day After Tomorrow: Wizarding Edition

Vocabulary Let's do this!


Stephanie's guess: A spell you cast on somebody when you are mad at them so they howl at night like a wolf. Then, one of those birds (with night vision) comes and smacks them!

Zasmine's guess: Someone who I make hoooowl! #sexytime

Muggle Definition: An angry email.

What it actually is... Wizarding letter which, when opened, shrieks and howls at the reader in an extremely loud voice. Comes in a scarlet red envelope and is usually sent by someone who is very angry. Ron Weasley received one from his mother after crashing the Ford Anglia into the Whomping Willow.


Zasmine's guess: A mixture of muffling and snuggling... I'm going to muggle you tonight!

Stephanie's guess: Something you drink your Butter Beer out of!

Muggle Definition: If what I just said makes no sense or you think I said 'muzzle,' then you're a muggle.

What it actually is... Person totally without magical powers. Muggles live in ignorance of the world of wizards and witches.


Stephanie's guess: It's that game they play on the brooms. Then, you catch the golden hummingbird!

Muggle Definition: Like soccer... in the air... on brooms... with giant angry balls flying at you... and a teeny, tiny golden demon flying away from you. (When playing, try not to pull a Harry.)

What it actually is... The wizarding national sport. Played on broomsticks by seven players: three Chasers, one Keeper, two Beaters, and one Seeker. Played with four balls: the Quaffle (red) is used for scoring; two Bludgers (black) which try to knock players off their brooms; one Golden Snitch (bright gold with silver wings). The game ends when the Snitch is caught.


Zasmine's guess: Patronus = Patron on ICE!

Stephanie's guess: An alcoholic beverage.

Muggle Definition: Your spirit animal

What it actually is... Positive force which acts as protection from a Dementor. It is conjured using the incantation “Expecto patronum”.


Stephanie's guess: That hotel in San Fransisco! No, not hotel! PRISON!

Muggle Definition: Like Alcatraz, but not...

What it actually is... Prison fortress where wizarding criminals are sent. Guarded day and night by the terrifying Dementors, who drain peace, hope and happiness out of any human who comes too close to them.


Stephanie's guess: Humphrey... No?

Zasmine's guess: ...

Muggle Definition: The Boogeyman

What it actually is... Shape-shifter that takes on the likeness of your worst fear.


Zasmine's guess: Evil spirit ghost things that come out when they are doing something they are not supposed to! Like going into the Chamber of Secrets or something. It's an evil spirit that's like "No! Just no."

Stephanie's guess: Someone comes into your mind... and destroys you...

Muggle Definition: Creepy, crawly, floating things... Use your spirit animal!

What it actually is... Creature who feeds on the happy emotions of humans. Dementors are employed as guards at Azkaban. The kiss of a Dementor will suck out a human's soul, leaving an empty shell.


Stephanie's guess: Happy! It makes you giggly...

Zasmine: Sounds like you're talking about a weed brownie...Only available in Colorado and Washington!

Muggle Definition: Gives you fish powers.

What it actually is... Water plant. If you eat it, you temporarily grow gills and fins.

Marauder's Map

Zasmine's guess: He opens it and it starts to appear! But, then, sometimes it doesn't!

Stephanie's guess: I can't even pronounce that. It's a map you use to cut the grass.

Muggle Definition: It's old world Foursquare.

What it actually is... A map that shows all the secret passageways and the whereabouts of everyone in Hogwarts with a password.

Polyjuice Potion

Zasmine's guess: Pimp juice!

Stephanie's guess: Poly... more than one! More than one pimp!

Muggle Definition: It changes you... literally!

What it actually is... Potion that will allow the drinker to take on the appearance of another person for a period of time.

Shrieking Shack

Stephanie's guess: It's a place you go... to get smaller.

Zasmine's guess: It's my work password! #geeky

Muggle Definition: A really, really, really haunted house.

What it actually is... Rumoured to be the most haunted building in Britain. Situated in the town of Hogsmeade.


Stephanie's guess: Does the Keebler elf make it?

Zasmine's guess: Something you use in the game of Quidditch!

Stephanie: So it's the golden bird thing, but edible and with a flavor on the inside!

Magical: The Quibbler is a sensationalist newspaper or magazine.

Muggle: Basically the National Enquirer or the Weekly World News.


Stephanie's guess: The background music when Dumbledore is speaking. And the basilisk drops!

Zasmine's guess: A bassinet?

Muggle Definition: A giant ass snake!

What it actually is...Giant snake whose stare will cause their victims to suffer instant death.


Stephanie's guess: Who's that? The owl? He has a name?

Zasmine's guess: A wig that goes on your head... Obviously.

Muggle Definition: The death I'm still not over.

What it actually is... Harry's owl and mail courier. Harry bought Hedwig from Eeylops Owl Emporium.


Stephanie's guess: Not a Hufflepuff, right? Is it like a polygraph, but...

Zasmine's guess: A hypocrite!

Muggle Definition: It's kind of a horse...

What it actually is... Magical creature that has the front legs, wings and head of an eagle, and the body, hind legs and tail of a horse.


Stephanie's guess: The man with the big, fluffy beard... with the dogs named Fluffy!

Zasmine's guess: What she said...

Muggle Definition: He's the best man in the movie... and also the long lost Duck Dynasty brother.

What it actually is... Keeper of Keys and Grounds and teacher of Care of Magical Creatures from Harry's third year. Hagrid is almost twice a tall as any other person and seems five times as wide. He has masses of bushy, black hair and a huge tangled beard. Has a liking for strange and dangerous creatures – especially dragons.

Final Remarks from our resident Muggles

Stephanie: This experience was enlightening... I'm shocked that I am a muggle! I didn't know I was that basic... I thought I had some sort of power, but I think my interpretations were SPOT ON! (Kinda)

Zasmine: I'm not a f*&?ing muggle! I'm MAGIC!

So anytime you start to feel discourage by the lack of Harry Potter knowledge in your friend group... don't loose faith!

For more vocabulary to blow their minds, click here. Stay strong Potterheads!

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