As thick as two short planks


      • to describe someone as unintelligent or lacking common sense
        This phrase is often used as an insult or criticism of someone's intellectual abilities, suggesting that they are not very bright or perceptive. It can also be used in a humorous or light-hearted way to playfully tease someone who has made a silly mistake or is acting foolishly.

      • to describe something as very dense or thick
        This phrase can also be used to refer to something that is literally thick or bulky, such as a stack of books or a piece of furniture. It can also be used more figuratively to describe something that is difficult to understand or navigate, like a complicated set of instructions or a complex problem.

    Examples of As thick as two short planks

    • Despite hours of explanation, he stared at the broken engine, as thick as two short planks.

      The individual did not understand the mechanics of the engine even after it was explained, showing a lack of intelligence.

    • Watching her try to assemble the flat-pack furniture was like observing someone as thick as two short planks.

      The person's inability to put together the furniture suggests a significant lack of understanding or common sense.

    • "You really think the Earth is flat? You're as thick as two short planks," he exclaimed in disbelief.

      This expression is used to point out someone's ignorance, in this case, their belief in a flat Earth.

    • "I can't believe you need help with this simple task. Are you as thick as two short planks?" she laughed.

      This is an expression used to tease or criticize someone's ability to understand or perform an easy task.

    • The professor's lecture went over his head; he felt as thick as two short planks trying to grasp the concepts.

      The student couldn't comprehend the lecture material, which indicates a struggle with understanding complex ideas.

    • When it comes to politics, Jane admitted she was as thick as two short planks, preferring to focus on her art.

      Jane confesses her lack of knowledge or interest in politics, suggesting she might be uninformed in this area.

    • The coach muttered, "If our goalie is as thick as two short planks like that again, we'll lose the season."

      The coach expresses frustration at the goalie's lack of understanding or poor decision-making, which could jeopardize the team's success.

    • Even the simplest jokes fly over his head; it's like he's as thick as two short planks.

      This implies that the person cannot grasp even the simplest forms of humor, indicating a lack of wit or intelligence.


    In summary, the idiom "as thick as two short planks" is used to describe both people and things that are perceived as unintelligent or dense. It can be used as a criticism or insult, or in a more playful and humorous manner.

    Origin of "As thick as two short planks"

    The origin of this idiom is believed to come from the fact that short planks were often used as flooring in old buildings. These planks were usually quite thin and would often break or buckle under too much weight, making them a poor choice for flooring. As a result, someone who was described as "as thick as two short planks" was seen as being as dense and useless as these flimsy planks.

    Another possible origin of this idiom could be related to the use of two short planks in the construction of simple bridges. These bridges were not very sturdy and could easily collapse under the weight of a heavy load. Therefore, someone who was compared to these planks would be seen as incapable or unreliable.

    Overall, the idiom "as thick as two short planks" originated as a way to describe someone or something as being unintelligent or inadequate. It has evolved to be used in a variety of contexts, but its essence remains the same – to convey a lack of intelligence or understanding.