Here's a paragraph from World of Warcraft: Traveler (a fantasy novel for young adults). In a fight between two characters -- human Malus and ogre Gordok -- after the author describes the human combatant's height, he adds "and no maypole". I'm not a native English speaker and totally confused with this phrase. I know what is a maypole, but I don't understand why it appears in this sentence. BTW, "Maypole" also is a spell in the game of WOW, but I don't think it can be applied in this context.

The “little Malus man” – who was easily six and a half feet tall and no maypole – leapt forward, slamming his entire fifteen stone right into Gordok’s chest and gut. The ogre stumbled back – only a few steps – but Malus landed both feet on the morningstar’s chain, and its handle was yanked from the warlord’s hand. In addition, Gordok’s loose helm slipped down over his eyes. In the two seconds it took him to snag it off his head and throw it away, Malus was practically behind him, stabbing his sword into the ogre’s unarmored rear left thigh.

1 Answer 1


A maypole is a tall but relatively thin pole erected in a town. By saying that this person is "no maypole" they mean that he wasn't slender. This is further supported by the following statement "slamming his entire fifteen stone right into Gordok's chest and gut."

I'm in the US, so "15 stone" doesn't mean much to me, but it's the equivalent of 210 lbs (95 kg). That's pretty heavy, even for a person who's six and a half feet tall. This is pretty much in the middle of the "ideal weight" range for a male of that height.

6' 6" (198 cm) : 193 - 235 lb (87.5 - 106.5 kg)

Though, based on some posts on a bodybuilding forum, this seems pretty low weight for someone of that height... in the world of bulked-up muscle men. This could be a lack of research, though. If the author doesn't fit this description, they may simply not realize that 210 isn't particularly muscle-bound for this height. That said, someone who was a "maypole" would probably be 20-30 pounds lighter.

  • If basketball comparisons mean anything, Malus is essentially the same size as Michael Jordan (am I dating myself, or is he still universally known?). That's not intimidating as far as a warrior is concerned.
    – mathewb
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 4:13
  • @mathewb sure. Which is why I mention that it may be a lack of research on the part of the author. Using "entire" the way they do lines up with the implication that we are supposed to be assuming that this was a massive guy.
    – Catija
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 4:16
  • I agree with your answer and the caveat. Though interestingly, after doing some more research, I found that the penultimate weight class in the UFC only goes up to 205 pounds. One recent title holder in that class was 6'4", and I certainly wouldn't classify him as a maypole! Perhaps Malus was solid muscle.
    – mathewb
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 12:35
  • +1. Compare "he|she was no beanpole", which is often used in the same way to mean the person was not frail and skinny by any means.
    – TimR
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 11:38

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