“Bricked Up” – Its Meaning, Use & Origin

The English language is very interesting and there are so many phrases out there that we might have heard of before, but might be unsure exactly what they are referring to. 

One of the most common phrases used nowadays is “bricked up” and when someone uses it, it can be a little confusing. Well, in brief – being bricked up is a reference to a man or boy having an erection at an inappropriate or unwanted time. 

Of course though, you’ll be wondering to yourself – where did this phrase come from, what does it actually mean and how might you use it?

We’ve got all the answers you need, so if you are looking to learn more – then read on! 

Bricked Up 

So, let’s kick off this guide by examining the meaning of bricked up. 

The Meaning Of Bricked Up 

So, as we mentioned, the meaning of bricked up is when someone gets an erection at a very awkward, unwanted or inappropriate time and place. One of the most common uses for this phrase would be if a boy gets an erection during class at school.

However, it’s not uncommon for teens or males in their early twenties to experience being bricked up at their workplace or in college. When someone is bricked up, they are unable to move around as everyone will see that they have an erection. 

Due to the changes in our society though, the phrase bricked up has been leveled in controversy, especially by ultra-liberals. These members of our society have called the phrase sexist and they are trying to claim and repurpose the phrase.

It’s important to note though that its use is predominantly now on social media platforms, and many modern hip-hop artists are using the phrase as part of their music. 

Examples Of Bricked Up

It’s useful for us to explore some potential examples of when you might see or use the phrase bricked up. The following instances are times you might hear it or use it:

“Man, I couldn’t get out of my desk right away because I was totally bricked up!”. 

“It was so awkward when my mom came into my room this morning – I was so bricked up I had to turn over!”. 

“Do you know how difficult it is for a guy at my job to get work done when you’re sat bricked up?”. 

“Dude, did you see John at gym class today? He was bricked up and ran out!”. 

Other Ways To Say Bricked Up 

Of course though, this phrase is not alone with its meaning. In fact, there are a number of ways you can refer to someone as being bricked up. Here’s some of the most common ways you could do that:

“I couldn’t stand up in class today, I was pitching a tent for real!”. 

“I was talking to Jenny today, and oh my God, she is so hot – I got a real hard on right away!”. 

“Don’t you hate it when you’re in the library and you get a massive boner out of nowhere?”

“I couldn’t concentrate when the teacher was talking today, the blood left my brain and went downstairs”. 

Origins Of Bricked Up 

As with many phrases, experts aren’t exactly certain where this particular one came from. However, it’s generally believed that the use of the term came originally from hip-hop and rap music, when an artist referred to getting an erection. 

Indeed, while the phrase seems to have gained a lot of traction in the last two to three years, it’s not as widely used as its predecessor “pitching a tent”, which many experts can likely pin down an origin for. 

During this time, and as we sort of touched upon earlier – this phrase is now being made controversial, largely by members of both the LGBTQ community and the ultra-liberal groups, and this is primarily on social media. 

They believe the term to be sexist and the use of the term to be offensive to women and trans-people. Some women even say that the phrase is inappropriate and constitutes harassment in some way. 

It’s also important to note at this point that there is a wrong way to use the phrase. Some people think it has something to do with construction or building work due to the word “brick”, but there’s no evidence that there’s a connection between this and the construction roles. 


Bricked up basically means someone who has an erection or feels that they could get an erection – and commonly, this term is used for people in inappropriate or unwanted places.