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Hit the bricks

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  • The meaning of the idiom hit the bricks has changed over time. An idiom is a figure of speech that is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the phrase hit the bricks, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    To hit the bricks means to leave. Usually, the idiom hit the bricks is used to mean to quit a job. It may be used as an admonition by an employer as a threat of termination of employment, or as an actual termination of employment. The idea is that one must walk the streets looking for a new job. At one time, most streets were paved with bricks. The idiom hit the bricks has an interesting origin. It was a slang term used at the turn of the twentieth century by American trade unions to mean to go on strike. The idea is of someone walking up and down a brick street in front of a company, holding a picket sign. Related phrases are hits the bricks, hitting the bricks.

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    Examples

    At least the country got a new president when Nixon hit the bricks. (The Greenfield Recorder)

    From 6-8 p.m., grab a beer or wine and a Hawaiian lei from your favorite downtown merchant, then hit the bricks and enjoy fire performers and live music stationed throughout downtown.  (The Thomasville Times-Enterprise)

    Not long after Blankenship hit the bricks, he launched an unlikely Senate bid, which appears largely designed to reboot his brand. (New York Magazine)

    In all, an estimated 43 percent of top White House advisers have hit the bricks in the first 13 months in office, a turnover rate that dwarfs his predecessors’ (Barack Obama’s was pegged at 24 percent after the first two full years, according to The Brookings Institution). (The Baltimore Sun)


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