bricks and mortar


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bricks and mortar

1. noun The most fundamental elements or aspects (of something). Teachers are the bricks and mortar of the school system. If we don't look after them, what hope do students have of getting the education they deserve?
2. noun slang Daughter. The phrase comes from rhyming slang in which the British pronunciation of "mortar" rhymes with "daughter." Primarily heard in UK. I have two sons but only one bricks and mortar.
3. adjective Referring to a physical location for something, typically a business (usually as opposed to an online destination). In this usage, the term is hyphenated and used before a noun. You can order these shoes online or pick them up in one of our convenient bricks-and-mortar locations.
4. adjective Fundamental and necessary. In this usage, the term is hyphenated and used before a noun. The candidate has yet to state the bricks-and-mortar components of his economic plan.
See also: and, brick, mortar

bricks and mortar

buildings; the expenditure of money on buildings rather than something else. (The buildings referred to can be constructed out of anything.) The new president of the college preferred to invest in new faculty members rather than bricks and mortar. Sometimes people are happy to donate millions of dollars for bricks and mortar, but they never think of the additional cost of annual maintenance.
See also: and, brick, mortar

bricks and mortar

Basic and essential, as in Matthew Arnold's essay (1865): "Margate, that bricks-and-mortar image of British Protestantism." This phrase transfers essential building materials to other fundamental matters. It also may be used more literally to denote a building or buildings (whether or not made of bricks and mortar), as in The alumni prefer to see their donations in the form of bricks and mortar. [Mid-1800s]
See also: and, brick, mortar

bricks and ˈmortar

a building, especially when you are thinking of it in connection with how much it cost to build or how much it is worth: A home isn’t just bricks and mortar.We now need funding to turn the plans into bricks and mortar.
The modern way of doing business through the Internet as well as from buildings and shops can be referred to as clicks and mortar, where ‘clicks’ refers to the use of the mouse and the Internet.
See also: and, brick, mortar
References in periodicals archive ?
organization "was set up with similar terms of reference but decided that bricks and mortar were the responsibility of the (individual) church.
"Apparently, the Justice Department doesn't see Web-based business--where the product is information services and entertainment--as different from those with bricks and mortar."
Do mortgage products really need bricks and mortar? E-Loan's Chris Larsen intends to prove they don't.
According to Americans for Tax Reform, such a contraction would deal a crippling blow to many online ventures, including traditional retailers now making the transition from "bricks and mortar" to "clicks and mortar."
All of us have heard the terms "user friendly," "bricks and mortar," and "design process." Simply stated, "user friendly" means easily understood, readily available and easily used; "bricks and mortar" are the basic materials used in corrections facilities; and "design process" involves the continuing exchange of information among architects, systems planners and corrections staff.
A cold wall, because it's not protected from rainfall by the eaves and gutters of the house, will also absorb moisture from the ground, again causing the bricks and mortar to deteriorate.
Mollusks such as abalone and oysters create their iridescent armor, known as nacre, from brittle calcium carbonate microcrystals and pliant proteins arranged like bricks and mortar, respectively (SN." 5/16/92, p.