Heard on ESPN

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 23 03:06:12 UTC 2012

The phrase "built like a brick shithouse" has been applied to men and
women for decades. Apparently, it was applied to men first.

OED Draft additions October 2001 under brick, n.1

  brick house n.  [shortened < brick shithouse at Additions a, built
like a brick shithouse at Additions; apparently popularized by the
song of the same name (see quot. 1977)] U.S. slang a woman with a
curvaceous figure, esp. slim with large, prominent breasts.

1977 L. Richie et al. Brick House (song, perf. ‘The Commodores’) 1
That lady's stacked and that's a fact... Thirty six, twenty four,
thirty six Oh, what a winning hand, 'cause she's a brick house.

The invaluable Historical Dictionary of American Slang has an
extensive entry. (OCR errors likely):

built like a brick shithouse,

1. (of persons, usu. men) having a solid or powerful build - usu.
considered vulgar. Also, vars. euphemisms.

[1903 A.H. Lewis Boss 183: That'll be enough to give us th' Tammany
bunch as solid as a brick switch shanty.]

1922 Tully Emmett Lawler 286: He's built like a brick schoolhouse.

1925 in Hemingway SeL Letters 151: The Blonde Bastard is built like a
brick slaughterhouse and hits
like a middle weight.

1928 in Hemingway SeL Letters 287: Pat has doubled his weight in three
months...built like a brick shithouse. 1929-31

1929-31 Farrell Young Lanigan 122: They said she was built like a
brick outhouse.

(additional cites omitted)

2. (of women) having prominent breasts and slim hips.- usu. considered
vulgar. Also vars. and euphemisms.

1933 J. Conroy Disinherited 91 [ref. to ca 1918]: Wilma's a baby doll,
build like a brick outhouse.

1936 Monks & Finklehoffe Brother Rat 24: The doll was...stacked up
like a brick...(Jenny appears in doorway) Hello, there, Jenny.

1944 Busch Dream of Home 144: She's put up like a brick outhouse.

1947 Willingham End as a Man. 74: She's...stacked up like a goddamn brick sh-.

1956 G. Metalious Peyton Pl. 158: It was the consensus of town opinion
that Constance MacKenzie was built like a brick shit house.

(additional cites omitted)

On Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 10:31 PM, Alice Faber <faber at haskins.yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Alice Faber <faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU>
> Organization: Haskins Laboratories
> Subject:      Re: Heard on ESPN
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On 6/22/12 9:33 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>> On Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 1:22 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> "... built like a chiseled brickhouse". That, of course, of Lebron James... The > comment has already caused a round of mockery on Twitter.
>> What's the basis of the mockery? Memories of the old disco hit:
>> "[_She's_ a] *Brick House*"?
> Steven A Smith's verbal excesses are frequently mocked on Twitter.
> --
> ========================================================================
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