goldbrick – Wiktionary


Different kinds[edit]


From gold +‎ brick, initially (1850s) an precise gold ingot or brick,[1] later a swindle that consisted of promoting a putative gold brick, which was solely coated in gold. The swindle is attested from 1879,[1] the sense “to swindle” is attested 1902, and the sense “to shirk” is attested 1914, popularized as World Conflict I armed forces slang.[2] In early 1900s, used to confer with an unattractive younger girl – not fairly, nor in a position to discuss or dance (attested 1903), thence to confer with incompetent enlisted troops at first of World Conflict I, strengthened by the rank insignia of second lieutenants, which was a gold rectangle.[1]


goldbrick (plural goldbricks)

  1. One thing fraudulent or nonexistent provided on the market; a swindle or con.
    • 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Good Set, January 1920, collected in Tales of the Jazz Age:
      Expertise is the largest gold brick on the planet. All older individuals have it on the market.
    • 1932, Rafael De Nogales, Memoirs Of A Soldier Of Fortune, Kessinger Publishing (2006), →ISBN, web page 98:
      These, as a rule, weren’t hostile to purchasing a goldbrick so long as they knew that there was an opportunity for them to dump it on any individual else afterwards with some revenue.
    • 1932, in Harper’s Journal, Quantity 166,[2] web page 520:
      To-day, American angle towards Europe is akin to that of the nation greenhorn who, having purchased a goldbrick on Broadway, now fills the air not merely with the denunciation of the sharpers who tricked his credulity — []
    • 1945, within the Virginia Division of Agriculture and Immigration Bulletin, Volumes 422–433,[3] web page 5:
      The typical farmer could also be much less of a sufferer than another individuals by cause of his isolation, conservatism, and hard-earned cash, however he, too, has too typically purchased a goldbrick that didn’t materialize.
    • c. 1967, Edmund Wilson, quoted in Lewis M. Dabney, Edmund Wilson: A Life in Literature,[4][5] Macmillan (2005), →ISBN, web page 485:
      [] that if he purchased a goldbrick from Podhoretz for $25,000, he should pay me greater than the $5,000 a quantity that had been agreed on for the pure gold []
  2. (US, slang, dated) A shirker or malingerer.
    • 1945, Dr. Charley Haly, quoted in Doc: heroic tales of medics, corpsmen, and surgeons in fight by Mark R. Littleton, p. 68
      Mac, there’s not a confounded factor unsuitable with you. You’re a superb bodily specimen and in good well being. You’re nothing however a goldbrick. Now, get your butt out of right here and don’t ever come again once more until you’re actually sick or want an immunization.
    • 2004 (written c. 1990), Howard Ashman, Aladdin: Unique Movement Image Soundtrack, “Pleased with your Boy”:
      Inform me that I’ve been a louse and idler
      You gained’t get a struggle right here, no ma’am
      Say I’m a goldbrick, a good-off, no good
      However that couldn’t be all that I’m
  3. (US, slang, dated) A swindler.


goldbrick (third-person singular easy current goldbricks, current participle goldbricking, easy previous and previous participle goldbricked)

  1. (US, slang, dated) To shirk or malinger.
    • 1989, Greil Marcus, “The Assault on Notre-Dame”, in Lipstick Traces, Faber & Faber, revealed 2009:

      He realized to despise the Germans, individuals he as soon as thought match to rule the world, however now so craven they ate French grime for a glass of low-cost campagne; he mastered the artwork of goldbricking. Sitting at his desk, bored and stuffed with hate, he received fats and dreamed of Paris.

  2. (US, slang, dated) To swindle.

Derived phrases[edit]




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