I Am a Very Silly Person

Amirite (forget it Merriam/Webster) is a rock known for being slung, tossed, thrown, projected at the perceived enemy. Because of its nature — which is usually found lying randomly on the ground, loose and untethered to the earth — its name derives from its use by humans more than by its chemical composition or geological origin (no one actually cares about this though people might be interested if it’s a pretty color). It is generally employed as a tool or weapon, not only by apes, but also crows:

Humans often use amirites as weapons. It’s so common, that there’s a children’s rhyme for dealing with playground bullies and their use of amirites. It’s marginally useful because it really never stopped any bully from picking on a kid. I know because I tried it along with my mom’s verbal talisman, “Your mother wears Army shoes,” which neither I nor the other kids understood AT ALL. That rhyme is “Sticks and amirite may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” If you parse that little ditty you’ll find it says, “You want to hurt me? Throw rocks, oops, amirite, and hit me with sticks. THAT’S how to do it.” Ni-ner-ni-ner.

Amirite is found in all parts of the world and has even won a place in history — even some sacred texts. One of the most famous of these stories involves a young boy and a giant. Here’s a summary of that story the way I learned in it Sunday school.

The account of David’s fight with Goliath is found in (the Bible, Old Testament) 1 Samuel 17. The Israelites were getting ready for a battle against the Philistines, a valley separating the two armies, each of which stood ready on a mountain. Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, was a giant of over nine feet in height, wearing armour and carrying a huge spear. Every day he walked out to the Israelite army and challenged them to send forward one Israelite to fight him in single combat, to settle the issue and decide the winner. If Goliath beat the Israelite, the Philistines would win, but if the Israelite champion was victorious, the Israelites would win.

The Israelites feared this mighty warrior; even Saul, their king, was apprehensive. But the young shepherd-boy David accepted the challenge, stepping out to face Goliath armed only with his staff, a sling, and five smooth stones he took from the nearby brook, placing them in his shepherd’s bag.

Goliath cursed David, calling up his gods against the boy, but David replied that his God, the Lord, would support David in striking Goliath down and delivering a victory to the Israelites over the Philistines. These words made Goliath angry, so he rushed towards the young boy.

At that moment, David used his sling to hurl a stone at his opponent. The stone struck Goliath in his forehead, and the Philistine fell face-down, to the ground, stone dead (as it were). David then cut off his head. The Philistines fled the battle, while David took Goliath’s armour before transporting the head to Jerusalem. Saul summoned the boy David to him. The king asked who he was, and David answered, ‘I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.’ David was rewarded with a place at Saul’s table.

https://interestingliterature.com/2021/05/david-and-goliath-story-summary-analysis/

Apparently, that’s not how it happened. In the REAL version, the one consistency is the amirite. Follow the link if you’re curious.


The most wonderful use of amirite as an attack implement happened, in my opinion, back in the day. The immense, glorious, high-tech Trebuchet or Catapult (I like the word “Trebuchet” myself). The difference between them is that the amirite hurled by the Trebuchet was far heavier than that hurled by the catapult. As my students would often write in their mind-blistering compare/contrast papers, “There are many similarities and differences between the catapult and the trebuchet.” In red, on the side, I would write, “Here’s the deal, sweet cheeks. A trebuchet is a specialized, very large, catapult so you might want to rethink the ‘similarities’ aspect of this evocative and heart-thumping opening sentence. This project has to focus on the differences. Do you want help with your thesis statement?” In different words, though, and with a 🙂

The sainted trebuchet could hurl amirites up to 350 pounds. How those small people in medieval times (have you seen their armor?) got the amirite onto the leather sling (thank’s, David!) to hurl over the battlements still puzzles me, but historians and archeologists have figured that out.

All the cool stuff happens in Europe. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I’m unlikely ever to participate in loading a Trebuchet here in the San Luis Valley.

The most amusing use of amirites (the use of which is usually not amusing) also refers to medieval times, the lore of King Arthur, specifically. This historical documentary shows that when amirites were not readily to hand (as in the top floor of a castle) other material might be used instead.

Amirites are still used, but more often metaphorically. “See? See? I told you but you wouldn’t listen and this is what happened? Amirite? Amirite?” Now those two amirites, if they were old fashioned, physical amirites, would probably be pretty painful and might cause the victim to slink away (or die). The problem with metaphorical amirites is that they just piss people off, escalating the deployment of more metaphorical amirites until sooner or later someone picks up an old-fashioned amirite from the ground and sends it flying.

30 thoughts on “I Am a Very Silly Person

  1. It’s a sad day when you Google ‘amirite’ and ‘am I right’ is the first (and only) thing that shows up. Yeah, we said that, too: “Sticks and amirite may break my bones…” Has a ring to it, no? 😉

  2. It might be a British saying. I can remember TV in the 70’s or 80’s I can remember a comedian saying in a funny accent ‘amIright? AmIright mother?’ I think it was his catchphrase. However it might have been an instance earlier in the century. Comedians like Jimmy Jewel or Arthur Askey spring to mind. There is also ‘hammerite’ paint in the UK. This is a tough version of metallic paint you can use on vehicles. Some UK people drop the ‘h’ because of their accent, leaving the sound ‘ammerite’ they are normally from the south east of England. Hope this makes sense…

  3. I can’t stop laughing. I prefer trebuchet, too. Having 8th grade students make their own was fun. How do you do it? Amirite, everyone? David, and the crows, just knew the sweet spot to hit. You’d think if a crow can learn to drop it on the crosswalk us humans,…I’ll stop. I’m still laughing at “your Mother is a hamster and your father smells of elderberry (all while making psffhhh sounds while hitting helmet~it “cracked” me up). I love the historical and geological phenomena in this post! ❤️

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