Three-stone weakling

From Wikipedia, stone is defined as a unit:

The stone or stone weight (abbreviation: st.) is an English and imperial unit of weight or mass now equal to 14 avoirdupois pounds (6.35029318 kg).

One stone is 14 pounds; Three stone would be 42 pounds.

A weakling is a person or animal that is physically weak and frail.

What does "three-stone weakling" mean? A weak person whose weights 42 pounds?

There is another phrase about three-stone: three-stone ring. Does "three-stone" in this phrase mean 42 pounds too? It is quite heavy!

  • 1
    Probably "a person whose weight is 42 pounds". This is quite a small weight, so understandably, such person is weaker than the majority of persons. Dec 28, 2015 at 4:53
  • 42 pounds is too heavy for a person?
    – Varun Nair
    Dec 28, 2015 at 5:08
  • 2
    A three stone ring is a ring (typically worn on a finger) that has three prominent gems.
    – Jasper
    Dec 28, 2015 at 5:21
  • Any person who weighs only 3 stones is either a child or dying of starvation.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 19, 2021 at 5:57
  • This is the context and the source: grammar-monster.com/lessons/hyphens_in_compound_adjectives.htm
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 19, 2021 at 6:10

2 Answers 2


The term 'three-stone ring' may sound similar to 'three-stone weakling' but they are different.

A 'three stone ring' refers to the number of gems within the ring. Example: A wedding ring that has three diamonds.

The term "three stone weakling" refers to a person who is weak and underweight. 42 pounds is heavy, but not in human weight.

This is from 2005: enter image description here

Asia has the lowest Average body mass(kg) being 57.7 which is 127.2067 pounds. That is more that 3 times more than 42 pounds.

Link to where screenshot was taken from

  • Wedding rings are traditionally plain with no precious stones; a simple plain ring (band) in gold. You're thinking of an engagement ring.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 19, 2021 at 5:34

I don't think it means LITERALLY that "someone weighs 3 stone". It seems to me that it's more a figure of speech...If someone told you they had butterflies in their stomach, would you ask them why they are eating butterflies?

  • 1
    Butterflies in your stomach is an idiom, and a very common one, too. On the other hand, "three-stone weakling" is not an idiom or a common expression, a weakling will usually refer to a male person, most likely an adult, but name calling someone as a 3-stone weakling is hyperbolic.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 19, 2021 at 6:06

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