Built Like a Brick Outhouse Meaning
Definition: Strong and mighty; curvaceous and shapely; sturdy.
When referring to a man, this expression usually holds the first definition. When referring to a woman, it usually holds the second definition. When referring to an object, it holds the third definition.
Origin of Like a Brick Outhouse
This expression first appeared around the 1940s and is related to outhouses. Outhouses are outdoor toilets. They consist of a hole in the ground and a wooden structure built around the hole for privacy.
The idiom comes from the idea that outhouses are usually built of a light material such as wood. This is because the outer structure must occasionally be moved whenever the hole is filled. If an outhouse were made of brick, it would be stronger and sturdier than necessary.
Examples of Like a Brick Outhouse
In the below conversation, two friends remember a fight they almost had at a bar a few years ago.
Scott: Hey, do you remember that time we almost got into a fight?
Tony: Of course I do. You were so insulted by something that some stranger said that you challenged him to a fight.
Scott: I was confident until the guy stood up. He was huge!
Tony: I know. He was built like a brick outhouse.
Scott: He must have been six foot four and all muscle.
Tony: Yeah. I think we both turned and ran out of the bar once we saw how big he was.
Scott: It’s a good thing, too. We definitely would have lost a fight with him.
Two friends use the expression while discussing possible home renovations.
Richard: Hey! I see you have a lot of tools out here. Are you making something?
Miranda: My husband and I were thinking of tearing down this porch so we could build a bigger, prettier one.
Richard: That’s exciting! How long do you think it will take?
Miranda: We’re not sure. We thought we could tear down the old porch pretty quickly, but it turns out it’s built like a brick outhouse. It is almost impossible to take apart.
Richard: Let me know if I can help at all. I have some experience in construction.
The first example uses the idiom to describe a man. This athlete is big and strong.
- Frazier is listed at 6-foot-1 and he’s built like a brick outhouse because he took early criticism and turned it into something positive. –New York Daily News
The second example uses the idiom to describe a woman. The man is saying that the woman is very shapely.
- Later, laughing at his own astonishment and wincing at the pain, he told the family, with sheepish Midwestern candor, “Well hey, she’s built like a brick outhouse.” –LA Times
The phrase built like a brick outhouse is another way to say that something or someone is built to be very strong. When describing a woman, it also means that she is curvy.