The title says it all really: what is the etymology of JK Rowling's word 'Muggle'?

I have read from the Harry Potter Wikia that:

Muggle is derived from the word "mug," which refers to a gullible person. J. K. Rowling has commented that she added a syllable to soften the word, which she wanted to suggest "both foolishness and lovability." In the Brazilian translation of the series the term "muggle" was adapted to "trouxa", which literally means "fool", albeit not necessarily lovable at all.

However there is no citation to confirm the reliability of this. I am looking for a quote from JK Rowling which confirms (or refutes) this.

  • this is what you'd call source-request. Also a showcase of why wikia should usually be avoided as a 'source' for answers in this site. – n611x007 Aug 11 '15 at 11:38
  • @naxa aren't most questions source requests in some form or another? And as for Wikias some can be exceptionally high quality. Besides I'm not using it as a source for an answer; because of the lack of references in the HP wikis I am posing this question. Perhaps you didn't see that I specifically asked for a quote that confirms or refutes the above claim! – Often Right Aug 11 '15 at 23:04
  • sorry I wasn't very clear. I understand perfectly what you are doing here, I am happy with you doing that, can confirm about existence of good quality wikias, and generally agree with you. Despite my unfortunate arrogance, I've mentioned the source-request thing because I like its wording and wished to see it here, but found no other apropos to add it. On off word though, in wikias however good quality, I find no rational value until it meets the referencing standards of Wikipedia, which usually would be sufficient nowadays in my opinion, but I saw rather few wikias taking merit in doing so. – n611x007 Aug 12 '15 at 11:17

Rowling commented on this in a 2004 live chat on World Book Day

julesrbf: Where did you come up with the word "muggle"?

Rowling: I was looking for a word that suggested both foolishness and loveability. The word 'mug' came to mind, for somebody gullible, and then I softened it. I think 'muggle' sounds quite cuddly. I didn't know that the word 'muggle' had been used as drug slang at that point... ah well.

  • Perftect answer: +1 :D – Often Right Aug 10 '15 at 3:04
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    @N_Soong Always happy to help. Now to go and add a citation on the HP Wiki, and make the world a less awful place – Jason Baker Aug 10 '15 at 3:05
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    I didn't know the word 'muggle' had been used as drug slang until this particular point myself. – user12616 Aug 10 '15 at 13:34
  • Muggle sounds cuddly because of snuggle. – Benjol Aug 11 '15 at 13:00
  • @Benjol Indirectly, yes. More directly, it sounds cuddly and ‘softened’ because it’s a transparently recognisable diminutive. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 12 '15 at 14:08

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