I was reading How does the Hogwarts Headmaster know whom to invite to school? and it got me thinking, how can wizards and witches tell if a person they are dealing with is a muggle?

  • 1
    If they do magic, they're probably not a muggle. – Valorum May 27 '15 at 21:13
  • Wand ownership. – Valorum May 27 '15 at 21:14
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    The Force is strong in this one! – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 27 '15 at 21:35

The answer is "they can't", absent visual cues (dress code, having a wand, living in Wizarding area etc...).

  • If you recall, Neville's family didn't even think he was a wizard till he got accidentally dropped out the window and bounced.

  • Aside from Harry and probably some teachers, nobody knows that Filch is a squib.

Now, considering that there's a special quill that records every wizard being born (for Hogwarts), that's plainly NOT a magically impossible task. But somehow, nobody ever displays any ability to clearly do so aside from said Quill as well as a Sorting Hat (who is telepathic).

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    I always though Neville's great uncle (or some such) threw him out the window. – Dave Johnson May 27 '15 at 22:13
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    @DaveJohnson - he didn't "throw". He was distracted. "Great Uncle Algie came round for dinner, and he was hanging me out of an upstairs window by the ankles when my Great Auntie Enid offered him a meringue and he accidentally let go." – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 27 '15 at 22:16

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