Minor Harry Potter question- typo or slang?

I’ll spoiler-box this for the sake of being ultra-cautious, though it matters not at all to the plot and is not a material detail. In the third chapter of the new Harry Potter book, it says:

“The misty fug his breath had left on the window sparkled in the orange glare of the streetlamp ouside…”

Essentially, I just want to make sure that “fug” is a typo for “fog” and not some sort of British slang. I know I’m being silly; after all, why would there ever be such a stupid bit of slang? But I just wanted to make sure, because I can’t imagine this book hasn’t been proofread within an inch of its life. Not that it would matter in any material way if it were slang, but I’m a compulsive nut. Would any British people like to humor my freakish need to know?

I bought mine from the UK. I’ll LYK if it says the same thing when it arrives.

A condition which can exist in a small, crowded place when the air is not pure, especially because of smoke or heat. --British informal.

I have heard it before, usually it’s a sentence more like “the fug generated by a lot of bodies” but I did understand it.

However, there were words I had to look up, in this book for 8- to 12-year-olds(!).

Sorry, should have mentioned that definition is from Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary online.

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“Fug” may not be a typo, but there is one on page 10, which I’ll spoiler though it’s equally unimportant to the plot:

…the Prime Minister could not help but fear that the next time Fudge appeared it would be with graver news still. The site, therefore, of Fudge stepping out of the fire once more, looking disheveled and fretful…It’s obvious by context the word should be “sight” instead of “site.”

Professional proofreader checking in. Fug is actually a word. Per Webster:

Fug: the heavy air in a closed room regarded as either oppressive and murky or warm and cozy.

Mainly British usage.

Minor sidelight on already answered question: many years ago in the UK, there was a TV commercial for some air-freshener or other. As animated vapours drifted across the top of the screen, a cartoon version of the product grinned and bellowed: “There’s a terrific FUG in here!” Cue much stifled amusement among the younger viewers, who thought it sounded a lot like that very rude word that started with “F.”

Because of the sound of Fug and its meaning of Fog which is non-dirty, I can’t help feeling that it will be quickly embraced in schoolyards across America to mean something else entirely…

Wow-- I feel immensely less stupid than I expected! I was sure it was a typo and that I was being ridiculous. Score one for Zahava. :slight_smile:

On another note, EleventyOne, I’m surprised I didn’t catch the mistake you mentioned. I’m usually sensitive to that sort of homonym error.

It still sounds very much like it is a typo – one person’s breath does not create a “fug.” A fug arises from the close proximity of several people, and generally is airborne, rather than appearing on a window. It also doesn’t refer to any specific physical manifestation, but rather the general atmosphere of an area.

So, as I see it, there are two possibilities:
a) Rowling meant “fog,” and an error crept in along the way
b) Rowling made an error of usage

The first looks more likely to me, with the easy fog/fug typo.

Actually, the use of “fugly” is not uncommon on the Internet. It means “fuckin’ ugly.” That sometimes gets shorted to “fug.” (“He was (a) real fug.”)

Well, either way, it makes sense to me. I thought it was a typo for “fog”, but “fug” apparently means unclean air, which is kind of like fog in the first place.

Anyways, when I first read it, I thought, ‘Fug?? As in fugly?’ :smiley:

On preview: DeadlyAccurate was thinking the same thing I was about “fugly”.

Looks like a typo to me. ‘Fug’ is rarely used, although the adjective ‘fuggy’ is perhaps more common (more often used to described a state of mind than an athmospheric condition).

“Fug” may not be a typo, but there is one on page 10, which I’ll spoiler though it’s equally unimportant to the plot:

…and one on page 16: [warning: a whiff of a scintilla of a hint of inconsequential plot information is in the spoiler below]

flames in the grate turned emerald green again, rose up, and revealed a second wizard spinning in their heart.

Unless the laws of physics in the wizarding world have changed, I think that should be “hearth.”

There. That should satisfy my geek obligations for this month.

I haven’t picked up the latest volume, but my general observation is that Rowling’s writing is not adequately proofread. In fact, as much as I enjoy the Harry Potter stories, I still feel like I’m reading a raw manuscript that should go through a couple of rounds of careful editing.


I don’t think that is a typo. I think it means that the wizard was spinning in the heart of the flames, not on the hearth of the fireplace.

[QUOTE=Phèdre nó Delaunay]


Wow, I was certain that fug was a typo. Live and learn.

Honestly, I still think it’s a typo even though it is a real word, the context just doesn’t seem right.

Did you think it was conjoined twin fireplaces? It does say “their” after all :stuck_out_tongue: