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Re: Stacked and built

Posted by ESC on April 10, 2001

In Reply to: Re: Brick s'house posted by R. Berg on April 09, 2001

: : : : : : : I'm looking for the origin of the phrase "She is built like a brick shithouse".I hope this is not offensive. I know what it means, but do not know the origin or beginnings. Thanks for any help.

: : : : : : I'll post again if I find anything in my references. From my own knowledge, I can tell you that outhouses (privies) are usually humble affairs made of wood. A brick outhouse would be a fine structure indeed. Though not very practical since outhouses had to be moved from time to time to a fresh spot.

: : : : : : So the phrase "built like a brick outhouse" carried over to refer to a woman who has a fine structure.

: : : : : : It's a rural U.S. expression since few city folk have outdoor toilets. There was a song by a black group:

: : : : : Brick House (lyrics)
: : : : : By the Commodores

: : : : : Chorus:
: : : : : She's a brick----house
: : : : : Mighty mighty, just lettin' it all hang out
: : : : : She's a brick----house
: : : : : The lady's stacked and that's a fact,
: : : : : ain't holding nothing back.

: : : : : She's a brick----house
: : : : : She's the one, the only one,
: : : : : who's built like a amazon
: : : : : We're together everybody knows,
: : : : : and here's how the story goes.

: : : : : Verse:
: : : : : 1. She knows she got everything
: : : : : a woman needs to get a man, yeah.
: : : : : How can she use, the things she use
: : : : : 36-24-36, what a winning hand!
: : : : To ESC, thanks for the response. Enjoyed the extra material.

: : : In the first edition of "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases American and British," Eric Partridge called this a 20th-century low Canadian phrase, "applied to a very well-made fellow." Later he added more, including these extracts: "It has a much wider application and distribution than I had supposed . . .In Brit., as elsewhere, it is usu. used of a female: author Brian Aldiss remarks that [it] is 'a term of decided admiration for what is at once solid and female'; he thinks that the catchphrase 'must date from at least early C20, when such buildings had scarcity value'. It migrated to Aus., where it was extant in 1978 . . . Fain, 1978, notes that 'built . . .' 'became prevalent in the US at a time when most outdoor shithouses were made of wood, and a brick shithouse was really something to write home about'; he dates it from c. 1900 or a decade earlier. . . ."

: : : A mere speculation of mine: Besides its connotations of solidity and luxury (by comparison with the usual rickety wooden alternative), maybe the phrase owes some of its aptness to the fact that bricks in a building, like the women the phrase describes, are stacked, whereas lumber in a building is not.

: : This is indeed interesting. If I understand correctly being 'built like a etc' for a female in the US means she is attractive. Here in the UK the phrase is normally applied to a man and means that he is extreamly muscular. How things change across 'the pond.'

: To clarify what I think it means here: In my experience listening to U.S. speech, the current phrase isn't "built like . . ." but "stacked like . . . ," and it applies to women who are bosomy, whatever their general degree of attractiveness. It wouldn't be said of a man. A simple "She's stacked" means the same thing. But the reference books on slang don't bear me out. Perhaps usage differs in other regions of the country.

"Stacked" and "built" means bosomy in this part of the country too. (WV & Kentucky).