"tight as a tick"

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Sun Apr 10 23:09:01 UTC 2005

On Apr 10, 2005, at 9:51 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      "tight as a tick"
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> Mike Evans, author of _American Prophecies_  and described as a
> "Mideast analyst" on Fox News, has just explained the nature of the
> relationship between Prime Minister Sharon and President Bush as
> follows :
>          "These two are tight as a tick !"
> He meant they're "very friendly" - not "very drunk," which is what the
> phrase usually means.
> Google, however, shows that "tight as a tick" can emphasize virtually
> any idiomatic
> sense of "tight."
> JL

This looks like  another "hypocorrection." For as far back as I can
remember, "tight," among other meanings, has meant both "friendly" and
"drunk," but "tight as a tick [filled to bursting with its victim's
blood]" has meant only "filled in like manner with alcoholic beverage,"
"drunk as a skunk." I wonder whether the hand gesture corresponding to
"very close friends" will also be affected.


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