shy

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a few bricks shy of a load

A pejorative phrase meaning not very intelligent or of questionable mental capacity. It can appear in many different forms and variations (for example: a few sandwiches short of a picnic, a few cards shy of a full deck, etc.). He says he's going to start a business selling bees as pets—I think he may be a few bricks shy of a load.
See also: brick, few, load, of, shy

gun-shy

1. Frightened of using a gun or by the sound of one firing. My other three sons all really love to hunt, but Tommy's a little bit gun-shy.
2. Hesitant or wary of something or some action, especially after having previously suffered a negative experience of such. I've been rather gun-shy about driving ever since I got into that car accident last year.

be one card shy of a (full) deck

To be not very intelligent or of questionable mental capacity. This expression can appear in many different forms and variations (e.g., "a few sandwiches short of a picnic," "one brick short of a load.," etc.). He says he's going to start a business selling bees as pets—I think he may be one card shy of a full deck. The new manager is nice enough, but he's one card shy of a deck, if you ask me.
See also: card, deck, of, one, shy

one card shy of a (full) deck

A pejorative phrase meaning not very intelligent or of questionable mental capacity. This expression can appear in many different forms and variations (e.g., "a few sandwiches short of a picnic," "one brick short of a load.," etc.). He says he's going to start a business selling bees as pets—I think he may be one card shy of a full deck. The new manager is nice enough, but he's one card shy of a deck, if you ask me.
See also: card, deck, of, one, shy

a sandwich shy of a picnic

A pejorative phrase meaning not very intelligent or of questionable mental capacity. This expression can appear in many different forms and variations (e.g., several bricks short of a load," "one card shy of a full deck," etc.). He says he's going to start a business selling bees as pets—I think he may be a sandwich shy of a picnic. The new manager is nice enough, but he's a sandwich shy of a picnic, if you ask me.
See also: of, picnic, sandwich, shy

one sandwich shy of a picnic

A pejorative phrase meaning not very intelligent or of questionable mental capacity. This expression can appear in many different forms and variations (e.g., several bricks short of a load," "one card shy of a full deck," etc.). He says he's going to start a business selling bees as pets—I think he may be one sandwich shy of a picnic. The new manager is nice enough, but he's one sandwich shy of a picnic, if you ask me.
See also: of, one, picnic, sandwich, shy

shy bladder

Said to be possessed by one who has trouble urinating when others are present, as in a public restroom. I have a shy bladder, so it takes me forever to pee in those crowded stadium bathrooms.
See also: bladder, shy

one brick shy of a (full) load

A pejorative phrase meaning not very intelligent or of questionable mental capacity. It can appear in many different forms and variations (for example: a few sandwiches shy of a picnic, one card shy of a full deck, etc.). He says he's going to start a business selling bees as pets—I think he may be one brick shy of a load. The new manager is nice enough, but he's one brick shy of a full load, if you ask me.
See also: brick, load, of, one, shy

shy of (something)

Slightly less than some amount. Our current rent is just shy of $1,500. If it goes any higher, I don't know how we'll be able to afford it. We're just two people shy of a full team. Are any of your friends interested?
See also: of, shy

shy away from (someone or something)

To avoid someone or something. I shy away from conflict because I tend to cry when people yell at me. Are you mad at me? You've been shying away from me all day.
See also: away, shy

fight shy of (someone or something)

To try to avoid confronting or encountering someone or something. I'm naturally a peacemaker, so I always fight shy of tension.
See also: fight, of, shy

Once bitten, twice shy.

Once one is hurt by someone or something, one will be extra cautious to avoid that person or thing. I've learned my lesson from dating actors—once bitten, twice shy. The company's brief but disastrous attempt was enough for them to vow never to venture into the mobile phone market again. Once bitten, twice shy.
See also: once, twice

few bricks short of a load

 and few cards shy of a full deck; few cards short of a deck; not playing with a full deck; two bricks shy of a load
Fig. lacking in intellectual ability. (Many other variants.) Tom: Joe thinks he can build a car out of old milk jugs. Mary: I think Joe's a few bricks short of a load. Ever since she fell and hit her head, Jane's been a few bricks short of a load, if you know what I'm saying. Bob's nice, but he's not playing with a full deck. You twit! You're two bricks shy of a load.
See also: brick, few, load, of, short

Once bitten, twice shy.

Prov. When something or someone has hurt you once, you tend to avoid that thing or person. Jill: Let's go ride the roller coaster. Jane: No, thanks. I got really sick on one of those once—once bitten, twice shy. I once sent in money for something I saw advertised in the back of a magazine, but the merchandise was of such poor quality I was sorry I'd bought it. I'll never buy anything that way again; once bitten, twice shy.
See also: once, shy, twice

one brick shy of a load

Inf. stupid; dense. Joyce has done some stupid things. Sometimes I think she is one brick shy of a load. Ted is one brick shy of a load. He can't seem to do what he is told without messing up.
See also: brick, load, of, one, shy

shy away (from someone or something)

to avoid someone or something. The dog shies away from John since he kicked it. I can understand why the dog would shy away.
See also: away, shy

three bricks shy of a load

stupid; dense; shortchanged on intelligence. I would never say she was dense. Just three bricks shy of a load. Why do you act like you're three bricks shy of a load?
See also: brick, load, of, shy, three

bricks shy of a load

Mentally impaired, either unintelligent or merely eccentric. For example, He may be handsome but he's not too bright-a few bricks shy of a load. This term, transferring a light load to lightweight mental capacity, is usually preceded by either a few or a specific number such as two . [Slang; 1960s]
See also: brick, load, of, shy

fight shy of

Avoid meeting or confronting someone, as in "I have ... had to fight shy of invitations that would exhaust time and spirits" (Washington Irving, Life and Letters, 1821). This usage may allude to a military reluctance to meet or engage with the enemy. [Late 1700s]
See also: fight, of, shy

once bitten, twice shy

Once hurt, one is doubly cautious in the future, as in He was two days late last time, so she's not hiring him again-once bitten, twice shy. This seemingly old observation, presumably alluding to an animal biting someone, was first recorded in 1894.
See also: once, shy, twice

shy away from

Avoid, evade, as in He shied away from all questions concerning his private life. [Late 1700s]
See also: away, shy

once bitten, twice shy

or

once bitten

You say once bitten, twice shy to mean that a bad experience makes you not want to become involved in a similar situation in the future. I'm certainly not looking for a new boyfriend. Once bitten, twice shy. Tokyo's punters, once bitten, twice shy, will not come rushing back for more.
See also: once, shy, twice

fight shy of

be unwilling to undertake or become involved with.
1992 Farmers Guardian Welsh companies often fight shy of dealing with the big multiples.
See also: fight, of, shy

once bitten, twice shy

a bad experience makes you wary of the same thing happening again.
This expression dates from the late 19th century. A variant common in the USA is once burned, twice shy .
See also: once, shy, twice

have a shy at

try to hit something, especially with a ball or stone.
See also: have, shy

fight ˈshy of something/of doing something

avoid something or doing something; not want to do something: I tend to fight shy of getting involved in protests, but in this case I feel very strongly that we should complain.
See also: fight, of, shy, something

ˌonce ˈbitten, ˌtwice ˈshy

(saying) if something has gone wrong once, you are very careful not to let something similar happen again: ‘Will she marry again, do you think?’ ‘I doubt it — once bitten, twice shy.’
See also: once, shy, twice

shy away

v.
1. To retreat out of a sense of shyness: The deer poked its head out from the bushes and then shied away when it saw me.
2. To avoid doing something, especially out of caution or anxiety: The company shied away from giving raises this year.
See also: away, shy

one brick shy of a load

mod. stupid; dense. Joyce has done some stupid things. Sometimes I think she is one brick shy of a load.
See also: brick, load, of, one, shy

three bricks shy of a load

mod. stupid; dense; shortchanged on intelligence. I would never say she was dense. Just three bricks shy of a load.
See also: brick, load, of, shy, three

fight shy of

To avoid meeting or confronting.
See also: fight, of, shy
References in periodicals archive ?
Until then she had either collaborated with Shyer, or reworked scripts from other writers (e.
Instead of stopping the shyer students from speaking up, a co-education school would help them develop a complete personality.
Shyer said: "The books consisted of a lot of vignettes and the challenge is to create a cohesive story.
We know our customers, their likes and wants and we believe that Cilea Lash is a product that will touch a cord with many of them," said James Shyer, Zyloware's chief operating officer.
The role of a video narrator for the group has been taken by another miner who would appear in front of the camera for the outside world and coaxing shyer members to appear on film.
to R) sales supervisor Phil Aguas, brewmaster John Mish, sales supervisor Brian Niebuhr, sales supervisor Lakeino Brown, sales manager Andrew Reed, sales supervisor Phil Richman, sales supervisor Dave Krebs, general manager Rob Mitchell and Kirby Shyer.
A more extrovert person can give confidence to a shyer friend, who may in turn offer a quieter but equally important kind of reassurance to their noisy companion.
This week in yet another government study - well, it justifies their existence I suppose - teachers are advised to stop primary school children putting up their hands to answer questions because the shyer pupils might get left out.
Dr Sneddon said they discovered that bold fish that bottled out became shyer than usual and the shy fish became bolder.
In updating Alfie to the present day, Shyer and co-writer Elaine Pope forget about the dangers of STDs.
Alfie (15) STARS: Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Susan Sarandon, Marisa Tomei DIRECTOR: Charlies Shyer
Think: A Cliffs Notes version of the 1996 John Travolta vehicle, with Christopher Shyer sitting in as George, miraculously transformed into a genius and subsequently pursued by sinister military types.
For it seems that when it comes to racy underwear and suggestive advertising, prudish New Yorkers are actually much shyer than the rest of the world.
FOR the shyer types, there are even swingers' adverts in the innocent-looking Buy and Sell magazine.