Brick Someone: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
October 10, 2023

You've probably heard many idioms in your life. These are expressions that don't literally mean what they say but convey a deeper or symbolic message. One such intriguing phrase is "brick someone." This term might conjure images of construction or architecture, but it takes on a unique meaning in the world of idiomatic expressions.

In short:

"Brick Someone" generally refers to either striking or punching someone or attacking someone using one or more bricks.

What Does "Brick Someone" Mean?

The term "brick someone" is a colloquial idiom that has a distinct meaning different from the literal interpretation of its words. The core meaning revolves around causing inconvenience or problems for someone.

Delving into its essence:

  • To strike or punch someone: This is the more figurative meaning of the phrase, used to describe hitting someone, but not necessarily with a brick.
  • To attack someone using one or more bricks: This is the literal meaning where an individual uses a brick as a weapon to attack someone.

It's essential to consider the context in which the phrase is used to understand its specific meaningfully. To put it simply, if you "brick someone," you've landed in a situation where you've inadvertently made things harder for them. And, of course, nobody wants to be on the receiving end of such a predicament!

Where Does "Brick Someone" Come From?

The origins of idioms often take us on a historical roller coaster. Let's explore.

Historical Usage

Like many idiomatic expressions, tracing the exact origin can be tricky. However, the term has deep roots in history. One of the earliest mentions of a related expression was in an old English text where it was quoted:

"He threw a brick, yet hoped not to hit."

This subtly refers to an unintentional act leading to unexpected consequences. The idea behind this phrase seems to be associated with the physical act of throwing a brick, which can cause damage, even if unintentionally.

"He tried to brick someone during the fight."

This example illustrates the more literal meaning of the phrase.

10 Examples of "Brick Someone" in Sentences

To grasp the essence of this idiom, let's consider it in varied contexts: 

  • He decided he would brick someone if they messed with him again.
  • Jane was afraid that they might brick her in the alley.
  • Did you think I'd brick someone over a minor disagreement? Of course not!
  • They got caught trying to brick someone during the protest.
  • I heard he bricked someone in a bar fight last week.
  • The weather today really bricked someone with its sudden turn to cold.
  • After she styled up for the event, the unexpected downpour nearly bricked someone.
  • He barely made it to the meeting; the traffic jam almost bricked someone for him.
  • I need to get on top of this project before another obstacle tries to brick someone.
  • They were arrested for bricking someone outside the nightclub.

Examples of "Brick Someone" in Pop Culture

Idioms often find their way into movies, songs, and other media. Here are some notable mentions:

  • In the hit series "Urban Legends," a character laments, "You've bricked me now," after a prank goes wrong.
  • An episode in "Sitcom Central" humorously plays on the term when a character literally throws a brick, leading to a series of unfortunate events.
  • TV Show "Law & Order": A character is accused of "bricking someone" in an alley.
  • Rapper Jay-Z mentioned "bricking someone" in one of his songs.
  • In the movie "Fight Club," the concept of "bricking someone" is subtly implied.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Brick Someone"

Often, when people want to convey the sentiment behind this phrase, they might opt for other idioms or expressions.

Some of these alternatives include:

  • Floor someone
  • Put someone on the spot
  • Corner someone
  • Punch someone
  • Strike someone
  • Assault someone

10 Frequently Asked Questions About “Brick Someone”:

  • What does the term exactly mean?

The idiom "brick someone" carries two main meanings. One meaning refers to the act of striking or punching someone, which is more figurative. The other meaning is more literal and indicates attacking someone using one or more bricks as a weapon.

  • Where did the idiom originate?

The phrase "brick someone" comes from street language. It has gained traction and appeared in various media forms and written texts over time.

  • How commonly do people use the phrase?

Yes, people commonly use "brick someone," particularly in informal settings or in works of media that portray violence or conflict.

  • Is the term used globally or just in specific regions?

While English-speaking countries more commonly use the phrase "brick someone," it isn't universally recognized across the globe.

  • Is the idiom considered offensive or inappropriate?

The phrase "brick someone" can be considered offensive or inappropriate as it implies a violent action against someone. Exercise caution when using it, especially in formal or sensitive settings.

  • Can you use the phrase metaphorically or symbolically?

Generally, people don't use "brick someone" in a metaphorical or symbolic sense. The idiom mainly pertains to a physical act.

  • What's the legal implication of "bricking someone"?

If you "brick someone," you could face criminal charges, such as assault or battery. The act involves physical harm to another person and is punishable by law.

  • How often does the idiom appear in literature?

"Brick Someone" occasionally appears in modern literature. However, you'll find it more commonly in media, like TV shows or movies, and in street language.

  • What are some synonyms for the phrase?

Some synonyms for "brick someone" include "punch someone," "strike someone," and "assault someone." These alternatives can sometimes serve as a less aggressive way to convey similar meanings.

  • Is the term gender-specific?

No, the phrase "brick someone" is not gender-specific. It applies to individuals of any gender and describes an action that anyone could potentially perform.

Final Thoughts About “Brick Someone”

Idioms bring color to our language, and "brick someone" is no exception.

  • It has multiple meanings, including a literal and a more figurative one.
  • Originates from street language.
  • Commonly used in media, especially in situations involving violence or conflict.
  • Like many idioms, its true meaning often lies not just in its words but in the situation it's used in.

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