four by two

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

four by two (plural four by twos)

  1. (Australia, UK, New Zealand) A length of sawn wood of cross section 4 inches by 2 inches, most often employed as structural framing lumber / timber.
    • 1994, Peter Carey, Collected Stories, page 206,
      She would sit here sometimes, perched on a bag of concrete looking at the big lumps of four by two and imagining what she might do with them if she had a chance.
    • 2009, Joy Dettman, Pearl in a Cage, page 110,
      He eyed Norman, who was lifting one end of a four-by-two and sighting down it, as his Bendigo uncle had taught him to sight new beams, seeking out the bow.
    • 2010, Glenn Wheatley, Glenn Wheatley: Facing the Music, page 109,
      I found myself in overalls, work boots, gloves and protective glasses splitting planks of four-by-two and stacking them on pallets. [] From rock star to Rajah of the Radio (Paul Keating′s line) to the ARIA Hall of Fame to being John Farnham′s manager for twenty-five years to a convicted criminal splitting four-by-twos.
  2. (UK, military) A cotton cloth 4 inches wide with lines two inches apart, conveniently torn into two inch lengths for cleaning a rifle barrel using a pull through.
  3. (Cockney rhyming slang) A Jew.

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