two by four

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See also: two-by-four


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two by four (plural two by fours)

  1. (chiefly Canada, US) A length of sawn wood of cross section approximately 2 inches by 4 inches, most often employed as structural framing lumber (dimension or dimensional lumber).
    • 1959, Nat King Cole, Oh, Mary, don't you weep.:
      Well, Moses stood on the Red Sea shore, And smote the water with a two by four
    • Date debatable, Ledbelly - from a traditional folk song, Linin' Track
      Moses stood on the Red Sea shore, smotin' that water with a two by four
  2. (chiefly Canada, US, dated) A small, modest building.
    • 1930, George, Ira Gershwin, But Not for Me:
      He'll plan a two by four/But not for me.
  3. Alternative form of two-by-four (kind of pornographic comic book)

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