Three bricks short.

This formerly read-only archive of threads dates back to 1996, but as of March 2007 is open to new postings. For technical reasons, the early dates shown do not accurately reflect the actual date of posting.

Feel free to add new postings to any of the existing threads in the archived forums, but please create any new language-related threads in one of the Language Discussion Forums.

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Topic » Sat Oct 09, 2004 1:56 am

I have heard this phrase used many times and I know what it means. I was not able to find any thing on its origin. I looked up onelook and archive but there was nothing.
Ahmed
BC Canada
Submitted by ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Topic imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:10 am

Have you heard "one camel short of a harem"?
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:25 am

Ahmed, This expression variously appears as ‘three bricks shy of a load’ ‘a few bricks short of a load’ ‘ two bricks short of a load,’ ‘three bricks short of a chimney,’ ‘a few bricks short of a wall’ and several other variations – all meaning ‘not all there’ as in ‘not too bright.’ Chapman’s Dictionary of American Slang says that ‘three bricks shy of a load’ was in use by the 1970s and Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang narrows it down to the 20th century. I don’t think we’ll find any specific origin, though. It’s just one among a long list of expressions, many of which are of fairly recent vintage and made popular by late night television (e.g. ‘not the sharpest tool in the shed,’ etc.). A few others of the ‘short’ variety are: ‘A span short of a bridge,’ ‘two cards shy of a full deck,’ ‘a few clowns short of a circus,’ ‘a few sandwiches short of a picnic,’ and ‘a square short one side.’

Ken – October 31, 2003


Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:39 am

Thank you Ken.
Ahmed
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:53 am

In the same vein is "not knitting on both needles" - perhaps it's the other needle that's in the vein. And maybe someone who's three bricks short of a load compensates by being as thick as two short planks. E A
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:08 am

An arab short of a jihad
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:22 am

If you at least have the courtesy to identify your self maybe you and I could have a meaningful discussion. Until then do not pretend you know what you are talking about.

Ahmed (Jihading through life)*G*

Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:37 am

Ahmed, Anonymity is the cover of the coward. That’s why pipsqueaks do so well in mobs. But thankfully according Jim Ransom, site administrator, we will very soon have a login and wont have to be putting up with this baloney of not knowing who said what. So these characters better get in all the mischief they can under the cover of darkness, because the lights are about to be turned on!

Ken – November 1, 2003

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:51 am

.. this, can we call it a couplet ??, form of word play is common in Aus and is taken to very witty ends when blokes are talking together, yes admittedly at the pub, by inventing a new couplet, ie x short of a y, to fit the situation at hand .. eg if discussing a footballer he may be a "frontrow short of a scrum" or a singer may be a "note short of a scale" .. the meaning has been widened slightly to include a lack of general ability rather than just a lack of intellectual ability .. although the quality of being dumb is generally implied ..
Wizard of Oz, Australia. 02/11/03
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:05 am

Two swallows short of a summer? Edwin Ashworth (Perhaps that should be a colon rather than a question-mark.)
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:20 am

Two pipsqueaks short of a mob. EA
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:34 am

Two wheels short of a bicycle is as bad as it gets. EA
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:49 am

A few beers short of a six pack. A few cards shy of a deck.

Sam 02/11/03
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:03 am

a few christians short of a crusade
Ahmed, as is
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Three bricks short.

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:17 am

I was one of them, Ahmed - though I reserve the right to offer you a leaflet. Edwin Ashworth
Reply from ( - )
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Post Reply