make bricks without straw

make bricks without straw

Perform a task without essential materials or means, as in Writing a report without the current data is making bricks without straw. This expression alludes to straw as a material necessary in early brick manufacturing. [Early 1600s]
See also: brick, make, straw, without

make bricks without straw

If you make bricks without straw, you try to achieve something without the resources that are needed for it. Teachers have become experts at making bricks without straw. Note: This expression is from the Bible and refers to Pharaoh's order that the captive Israelites should not be given any straw to make bricks. (Exodus 5:7)
See also: brick, make, straw, without

make bricks without straw

try to accomplish something without proper or adequate material, equipment, or information.
The allusion here is to Exodus 5:6–19 where ‘without straw’ meant ‘without having straw provided’, as the Israelites were required to gather straw for themselves in order to make the bricks required by their Egyptian taskmasters. A misinterpretation has led to the current sense.
See also: brick, make, straw, without

make ˌbricks without ˈstraw

(British English) try to do a piece of work without the necessary materials, equipment or information: I don’t know how you expect me to cook dinner when there’s hardly any food in the house. You can’t make bricks without straw, you know.This is based on a story in the Bible. At that time, straw was an essential material for making bricks.
See also: brick, make, straw, without
References in periodicals archive ?
You can't make bricks without straw ACTUALLY you can, perfectly well.
Even such splendid performers as Irek Mukhamedov and Adam Cooper, alternating in the role of Quint, were unable to make bricks without straw or ghosts without dancing.