from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Measuring two units by four units, especially inches.
- adj. Slang Small in size; boxed in or cramped: a two-by-four apartment.
- n. A length of lumber that is 2 inches thick and 4 inches wide, or that is trimmed to slightly smaller dimensions.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. measuring two inches by four inches
- adj. small or cramped
- n. A length of timber having this cross section. (Note: often this is dimensional lumber that was this size BEFORE being planed to finished form, which removes a quarter inch from each side.)
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a timber measuring (slightly under) 2 inches by 4 inches in cross section
Sorry, no etymologies found.
It's harder to dramatize a long drawn-out recessional than a sudden whack upside the head with a celestial two-by-four.
This is why, when people say that breast-feeding is “free,” I want to hit them with a two-by-four.
You can slide a two-by-four in the concrete to create this feature.
Regarding the stepfather, Sotomayor offered no "nearly so" caveat: "Pinholster's stepfather beat him several times a week, including at least once with a two-by-four board," she wrote.
Kit slapped his face the way Fancy wanted to, only Fancy wanted to use a two-by-four.
When you end up in some foster home, sleeping in a two-by-four bedroom and going to some inferior public school, think of me.
Don Nelson, another passenger who was seated one row from the rupture, said the noise "was a blast," and the hole looked to be about the size of a two-by-four.
"Remedial decrees may be a necessary two-by-four to make major gains, but ultimately it's going to require a scalpel to succeed."
You would have compressed me into a two-by-four pigeonhole of life, where all life's values are unreal, and false, and vulgar.
It lay flat across the entire road, made out of a two-by-four studded with long nails.