Decoding the Meaning of ‘Bricked Up’: A Comprehensive Guide

The Fascinating History and Multiple Meanings of “Bricked Up”


In simpler terms, “bricked up” means that something has gone wrong and is not working as it should. For example, if you install a new software program and it crashes your computer, you have “bricked up.” If you lose the keys to your car and can’t get it started, you have “bricked up.” Whatever the scenario, if something goes wrong and you can’t fix it, you have “bricked up.”

The Literal Meaning of “Bricked Up”:

For one thing, “bricked up” can refer to the act of sealing off a doorway or window with bricks. This practice is commonplace, and there are many reasons why someone might choose to do this. For example, bricks are an excellent insulator; sealed openings can prevent drafts; and bricking up a door or window can make it more difficult for intruders to get in. Additionally, sealing up entrances can add security to a building, making it less likely that thieves or burglars will be able to raid it.

The Metaphorical Meaning of “Bricked Up”:

However, over time, “bricked up” has also taken on a more metaphorical meaning. Nowadays, it is commonly used to describe any circumstance in which something is rendered useless or unusable. For instance, a device that has been “bricked” as a result of a software issue is basically useless and needs to be fixed or replaced before it can work again. In this sense, the term “bricked up” refers to something that has been rendered totally inoperable.

The Origin of the Term “Bricked Up”:

So, where did the expression “bricked up” originate? It probably comes from the fact that bricks have been used as building materials for a long time. Bricks have been used in construction for millennia, and in the past, it was common practice to brick up windows or doors to isolate a room or section of a building. The physical act of securing an opening with bricks is still referred to as “bricked up” today, but the term has also taken on a more metaphorical connotation.


In conclusion, the phrase “bricked up” has a rich history and multiple meanings. Whether it’s being used to describe a sealed-off doorway or a broken device, the basic concept is the same: something that is no longer functional or usable.

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