a few bricks shy of a load

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. There's an old lady who stands on the corner yelling at strangers all day. I think she might be a few bricks shy of a load, if you catch my drift. Tommy's a few bricks shy of a load if he thinks he can convince our mother to let him get a tattoo for his birthday.
See also: brick, few, load, of, shy
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a few, two, etc. ˌbricks short of a ˈload

(also a few, two, etc. ˌsandwiches short of a ˈpicnic) (informal) (of a person) not very intelligent; slightly crazy: If you ask me, I think he must be one or two sandwiches short of a picnic! OPPOSITE: all there
The structure a few, two, etc....short of a(n)... is often used to make new idioms, for example a few cards short of a deck, a few letters short of an alphabet.
See also: brick, load, of, short
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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