Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Civilians and Muggles

It was apparently Liz Hurley who let the cat out of the bag when she revealed the contempt celebrities have for "ordinary" people by calling them "civilians". I couldn't find the direct quote on google, which suggests it might be like the apocryphal Peter Mandelson "avocado mousse" line. Nonetheless, she's never denied it.

The term is in current usage. Matt Damon dropped it into an MSNBC interview, and the veteran DJ and remixer Arthur Baker used it when I interviewed him at Creamfields in 2004 when talking about a hotel for DJs and performers he was hoping to open in Brixton that "wouldn't be for civilians".

There is now a better one doing the rounds on the panto/musical theatre/holiday park entertainment troupe circuit. The new term for civilian is Muggle.

Lifted, of course, straight from Harry Potter, it describes someone who isn't touched by the magic of showbiz, an ordinary person, a Muggle.

I found this out yesterday, in conversation with a comedian friend.

Me: "Are you still seeing that girl you really liked, the legal secretary?"
Him: "No, she dumped me."
Me: "You're kidding."
Him: "I know, dumped by a f****** Muggle."

That's what they call us, you, the paying public. I asked where he heard the term "Muggle" first.

Him: "The Aussie actress I did panto with. She'd finished with her boyfriend, so I asked her who she had her eye on next. She said 'No one, really. I might just go and f*** some random Muggle.'"




  1. I understand that geocachers also refer to non-geocachers as muggles. And if a muggle interferes with a cache, it's said to have been muggled!

  2. So does that mean that the opposite of a muggle is a media hag? Ilanax

  3. Muggle in the Australian Defence force means when guys have a cuddle its called a Muggle meaning Man cuddle. Haha!!