Embracing My Inner Nitwit

16 05 2016


“Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!” ~ Albus Dumbledore

Recently, a friend re-introduced the word “nitwit” to me. Besides cracking up every time she said it, I was completely charmed by the word… but it wasn’t obvious why right away.

Over the course of a very short conversation she used the word about five times. She was clearly on a roll that day… Interestingly, she was applying the term to a few different people, not just one nitwit.  The fact that she has surrounded herself with nitwits is her issue, and the smart move for me is to not nitpick about that in this post. That would be stupid, not nitwitty. Yeah… I know that’s not a word, but dammit it should be!

Based on the conversation and the people involved, I simply enjoyed to both the complete accuracy and silliness that the word conveyed. But allow me to get to some nitwit nitty gritty…

The best etymology I could scrape together was this: nit (a minor shortcoming), and wit (clever or apt humor). This combination doesn’t seem to get to the real heart of the word, especially given details of my friend’s nitwit backstories.  Merriam-Webster’s definition is “a scatterbrained or stupid person”, and that description seemed right on the money.

When I looked at the synonyms, a silliness factor became quite clear: “cuckoo”, “dingbat”, “nutcase”, etc. Those words pretty much described every Monty Python Flying Circus episode, and that certainly appealed to me.

BJ_Nitwit_FINALPlease know that my investigation was thorough… I did find evidence of Nitwit Beer and a lice removal treatment. Even I can’t make a connection there…

So after my exhaustive research was complete, the conclusion for my nitwit enthusiasm was very clear… it was the simplicity of the silliness. Meaning… why make anything – even judgments we sometimes make – more complicated than they need to be?

What I really found interesting about my friend and the nitwits she cited was her willingness to embrace that small amount of silliness, versus denigration. Simply put, she was making a conscious decision to let some possibly annoying people off the hook, and not think less of them.

We are exposed to these types of shortcomings in people all the time – from some who don’t have the intelligence to some others who don’t have the drive. And we all expose our shortcomings as well. (Go ahead… insert whatever joke you please.)

Sometimes I am dumb as hell. I try not to be, but it happens. I have a firm grasp of my imperfections, so I know those instances will happen again and again despite my best efforts. And I can live with that.

But sometimes I’m a nitwit, and I can live with that as well. I will try to embrace that silliness, and hope that all of my friends will embrace it in me.

Thanks always to all of my nitwit friends. You know who you are… or maybe you don’t! Special thanks to SG for embracing the silliness and giving me some inspiration. Yay! You’re a nitwit!!