hit the bricks

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hit the bricks (third-person singular simple present hits the bricks, present participle hitting the bricks, simple past and past participle hit the bricks)

  1. (idiomatic) To travel about, especially on foot.
    • 1949 June 18, Victor Riesel, “Inside Labor”, in St. Petersburg Times, retrieved 24 June 2009, page 30:
      [T]housands of brewers, waiters and waitresses, bartenders, cooks, checkers, cashiers, dishwashers, hotel maids and bellmen, too, would be forced to hit the bricks in search of other work.
    • 2002 October 17, Jeff Larsen, “Short Trips: Shoreside walks in green and glittering Vancouver”, in Seattle Post-Intelligencer, retrieved 24 June 2009:
      [H]undreds of joggers and walkers from the condos hit the bricks of the Coal Harbor Seawalk starting at 6 a.m. for their morning constitution around Stanley Park.
  2. (idiomatic) To leave or depart; to get out.
    • 2004 September 20, “No NHL? No NHL!!!”, in Washington Post, retrieved 24 June 2009, page D02:
      Alas, Hancock did not have his receipt, so the shop owner told him to hit the bricks.
    • 2009 April 3, Tom Horgen, “Nightlife: Bingo is the game-o”, in Minneapolis Star-Tribune, retrieved 24 June 2009:
      On Friday and Saturday nights, the old-timers who usually populate the enormous room hit the bricks as an army of young people storm the hall to play "Cosmic Bingo."
  3. (idiomatic) To participate in a workplace strike or other job action; to participate in a public protest, especially one involving picketing.
    • 1947 March 31, “National Affairs: Waterfront Conchie”, in Time:
      When Harry Bridges told his boys to hit the bricks, Charley was always up front in the longshoremen's wall of flesh. His picketing record in the bloody dockside strife of 1934 and in the all-out strike of 1937 was perfect.
    • 2002 December 16, Pete Donohue et al., “MTA and union push against strike deadline”, in New York Daily News, retrieved 24 June 2009:
      Queens bus driver Mousie Garcia, 30, said she doesn't want a strike but will hit the bricks if the MTA doesn't come through with no-strings-attached raises.