Armpit from Holes

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

While all campers at Camp Green Lake have nicknames, Armpit is clearly the worst. Who wants to be named Armpit? Fortunately for Armpit, he likes his name, and he has some good qualities to offer those around him that make up for his unappealing name!

Who Wants to Be Named Armpit?

Would you want to be called Armpit? Most likely your answer is no, but for this camper at Camp Green Lake in Louis Sachar's Holes, Theodore Johnson wears it like a badge of honor. Armpit even shoves fellow camper and main character, Stanley Yelnats, when he calls Armpit by his real name.

One of the fellow campers at the juvenile detention center - X-Ray - gives each bad boy a new moniker to go by. These names - Armpit, X-Ray, Caveman, Squid, Magnet, Barf Bag - are the only thing each camper has that is his own in the camp. Their time isn't their own, they don't have much to speak of regarding their own possessions, but they have control of their names. And, according to Stanley, each name is a 'term of respect.'

Who Is Armpit?

Armpit is one of the bad boys who was placed at Camp Green Lake. Known for his pungent body odor, the origin of Armpit's name isn't a mystery to anyone.

Despite having a very unappealing scent, Armpit has something redeeming about him: a soft side. When Stanley (or his camp name, Caveman) first arrives at the camp, he has difficulty finding his way amongst the campers. When Stanley enters the Wreck Room he trips over a camper's leg, and the camper gets in his face. Who stands up for Stanley? Armpit and X-Ray (the unofficial leader of the group) do. Armpit tells the other camper, 'Be cool. You don't want to mess with Caveman.'

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