I'll be going dark until about March 30. Until then, I leave you with this thought: I have problems with the word "brickbat." Mainly because it has problems with me. I feel like "brickbat" tries to stay as far away from me as possible. I know it's out there. I know someone is using it. But almost never does this word crop up in my world.
Is it old-fashioned, like "nifty" and "23 skidoo"? Is it a regional thing like "wicked hot" or "dang hot, y'all"? I don't know. It's like a ghost word in my world that I have now, finally, looked up. Here's American Heritage Dictionary:
brick·bat (brĭk'bāt') n. A piece, especially of brick, used as a weapon or missile.
An unfavorable remark; a criticism.
Word History: The earliest sense of brickbat, first recorded in 1563, was "a piece of brick." Such pieces of brick have not infrequently been thrown at others in the hope of injuring them; hence, the figurative brickbats (first recorded in 1929) that critics hurl at performances they dislike. The appearance of bat as the second part of this compound is explained by the fact that the word bat, "war club, cudgel," developed in Middle English the sense "chunk, clod, wad," and in the 16th century came to be used specifically for a piece of brick that was unbroken on one end.
Now I know ... sort of ...