“He Was Such a Stupid Get”

A friend of mine and former graduate student employee here in Wilson just can’t get her mind off of all things North Carolina–even though she now lives over 700 miles away.

She emailed me after hearing Sir Walter Raleigh–namesake of our fair capital city–mentioned in the Beatle’s song, “I’m So Tired.” Here’s a portion of the lyrics:

I’m so tired, I haven’t slept a wink
I’m so tired, my mind is on the blink
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink
No,no,no.

I’m so tired I don’t know what to do
I’m so tired my mind is set on you
I wonder should I call you but I know what you would do

You’d say I’m putting you on
But it’s no joke, it’s doing me harm
You know I can’t sleep, I can’t stop my brain
You know it’s three weeks, I’m going insane
You know I’d give you everything I’ve got
for a little peace of mind

I’m so tired, I’m feeling so upset
Although I’m so tired I’ll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
He was such a stupid get.

Cool reference, but the last line had me stumped. What does “stupid get” mean? I had to guess it wasn’t good. This is what I found in the Oxford English Dictionary:

“In contemptuous use = brat. Also specifically a bastard; hence as a general term of abuse: a fool, idiot. (Cf. git n.) Now dial. and slang.

Raleigh’s star just keeps falling!

18 thoughts on ““He Was Such a Stupid Get””

  1. Hey,

    I also tried to figure out what it meant, and as I understand, this is a mistake: Lennon seems to sing “git” (=bastard), but in most lyrics it is written “get”.

  2. Just a guess here, but maybe Lennon was really calling Sir Walter Raleigh a stupid faggot, you know, with the long hair and all, and contracted faggot to ‘got.

    He was such a stupid ‘got.

  3. Hallo,

    The phrase really is “stupid get”. I’m from Liverpool and that’s what we say to insult people (in a mild way!) We more often call people a soft get. (soft in the head)

    Kindly put your faggot theory to bed.

    OKay now.?

  4. Col, thanks for setting me straight. Being from the US the term “get” was totally unknown to me. My “faggot” theory made sense in my mind, but was ultimately incorrect, and I have put it to bed.

    I guess I’m just a stupid get.

  5. The lyrics are incorrect, which is leading to the confusion, along with the fact that the real lyrics are a British slang term. The phrase should be “stupid git”. A ‘git’ is an unpleasant or contemptible person. From infoplease, I get the following for synonyms: rotter, dirty dog, rat, skunk, stinker, stinkpot, bum, puke, crumb, lowlife, scum bag, so-and-so, git, unpleasant person, disagreeable person. usage: a person who is deemed to be despicable or contemptible; “only a rotter would do that”; “kill the rat”; “throw the bum out”; “you cowardly little pukes!”; “the British call a contemptible person a `git'”

  6. Sorry Wasso3 but you’re wrong. ‘Stupid get’ is the phrase used and it was/is common in Northern England as Col explains.

  7. The interesting bit is WHY he is being cursed… It’s for the cigarette. He introduced tobacco products to Britain… And eventually to the Beatles.

  8. He’s saying stupid “git,” which is an unpleasant or contemptible person.

    Sir Walter Raleigh is credited with bringing tobacco to Britain.

    He’s basically saying, “I’m so tired but I’m still going to smoke a cig and curse the guy responsible for getting me hooked on them.”

  9. I am Liverpool born and bred. Get is common everyday Liverpudlian usage, as in you daft get, stupid get, soft get etc. Possibly related to the American git, and means more or less the same, but most definitely get in the North of England.

  10. Pretty sure that Sir Walter Raleigh isn’t from the same place as Paul McCartney. Unless you mean England, of course.

  11. Actually Sir Walter Raleigh was from Devon (formerly Devonshire), in Southeast England next to Cornwall. That is about 250 miles (400KM) south of Liverpool.

  12. OK so we’ve established pretty much that “stupid get” is Liverpudlian for “git” – in other words, any kind of jerk or pain-in-the-ass kind of a person.

    The question for me is, WHY does John suddenly bring up Reilly, and why does he think the man is a get?
    Apart from laying down his jacket for Liz the first, I can’t think of a reason. Perhaps John was in the doghouse with his lady for not being gentlemanly enough and is upset at Walter for raising the standard?

  13. Glen – Lennon’s reference to Raleigh being a “stupid Git/Get” is in reference to Raleigh bring tobacco to England. Hence, Lennon jokingly blaming Raleigh for his tobacco habit.

  14. Maybe he was a git, but we all can be at times…putting stupid in front of get in the line of a great song automatically makes it a dig. But hey, got his name in a kickass Beatles tune-maybe not so stupid after all! Named SIR for a reason. Never met the “get” myself cause I’m not 700 yrs old, but he’s my ancestor n proud to have such badass genes. Ok, good talk, but gotta put my eyepatch back onto see straight in order to screw my wooden leg in while listening to this parrot on my shoulder

  15. He was a stupid get(northern slang=git) because he got ripped off with tobacco when he had originally smoked something much better and more potent! So Lennon is blaming him for both bringing tobacco to England and getting ripped off by not bringing the original smoke, whatever that might be! I will leave that to your fertile imaginations.

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