like a ton of bricks, (come down)(redirected from come down on, to)
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come down like a ton of bricks
1. To fall or collapse violently and often unexpectedly. We must have been missing some screws when we built the bookshelf because it just came down like a ton of bricks!
2. slang To punish someone swiftly and harshly. When I was caught cheating on a test, the principal came down like a ton of bricks on me.
like a ton of bricks
With a sudden and significant impact. Mom will come down on you like a ton of bricks if you come home past curfew again. News that my daughter had cheated on her test hit me like a ton of bricks.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
like a ton of bricks, (come down)
Very heavily, unsubtly. This expression originated in early nineteenth-century America as “a thousand of brick,” presumably because bricks in such quantity were more commonly counted than weighed. “If folks is sassy, we walk right into ’em like a thousand o’ brick,” wrote Caroline Kirkland (Forest Life, 1842). Sometime in the early twentieth century it was replaced by ton, which has survived. Thus, to come down on like a ton of bricks means to reprimand or punish severely. This colloquialism dates from the first half of the 1900s. The novelist Graham Greene used it in Brighton Rock (1938): “If there’s any fighting I shall come down like a ton of bricks on both of you.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer