Green’s Dictionary of Slang

kick n.1

also kicky
[ety. unknown; ? fig. use of SE kick, with the image of the sharp impact thereof]

1. the current fashion; thus all the kick, the present vogue; high kick, the height of fashion.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: A high kick, the top of the Fashion.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[Ire]J. O’Keeffe Tony Lumpkin in Town (1780) 9: If he wants a coat cut in the kick, who can shew him? I – A tasty nab? Why Tim. [Ibid.] 17: Tony.: Tim, do they fit me? Tim: Quite the kick.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: A high kick, the top of the fashion; it is all the kick; it is the present mode.
[UK]Hereford Jrnl 16 Aug. 4/2: I march’d the lobby, twirl’d my stick [...] The girls all cry’d, ’He’s quite the kick!’.
C. Dibdin in Songs, Naval and National; (1841) 215: ’Tis the kick, I say, old ‘un, so I brought it down.
[UK] ‘The Dandy’ in Holloway & Black II (1979) 274: My spurs are all the kick. I’m quite a dandy O.
[UK] ‘Unfortunate Billy’ in Holloway & Black I (1975) 267: With nine inch stick / To be the kick. [Ibid.] 268: At masquerades, at plays or ball / Our hero was the kicky.
[Ire] ‘Ax My Eye’ Dublin Comic Songster 101: Amongst the kiddies I’m the kick.
[UK]Fast Man 8:1 n.p.: As getting drunk was not the ‘kick,’ he resolved to try the virtues of a good beefsteak.

2. a fashionable garment.

[UK]J. Miller Complete Jest Book 144: A dashing buck, having just mounted a fashionable great coat [...] asked an old gentleman how he liked his new kick?

3. a fashion, a fad, with comb. adj./noun; thus on a/the ... kick, e.g. on a writing kick, on the religion kick etc.

[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 33: Long underwear that looked like the housing project of some gophers on a fresh-air kick.
[UK]F. Norman Bang To Rights 122: Once he had started on one of these kicks there was no stopping him.
[US]M. Braly Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 106: He was on a peyote kick.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 296: Dordogna del Dongo wraparound trousers, the latest, newest, kick.
[UK]F. Taylor Auf Wiedersehen Pet Two 138: Barry, still on his clean-living kick, had gone off to do some brass-rubbings.
[UK](con. 1979–80) A. Wheatle Brixton Rock (2004) 12: When are you going to get wise to this macho kick?
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 243: Al was on a Marx kick.

4. one’s attitude or opinion.

[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 157: Kick . . . A kick is also a special way of looking at things so that the man who is ‘on kicks’ sees things from a special angle.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 58: I got to thinking way-out thoughts on a way-out kick.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 125: You ain’t no shrink, so get off that kick.
[UK]Observer Mag. 22 Aug. 12: I was on an extremely destructive kick [...] I was just angry, raging at the world.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) Décharné Straight from the Fridge Dad.

In derivatives

kickish (adj.)


[UK]Sporting Mag. Jan. V 221/1: Don’t you see that as how I’m a sportsman in style, / All so kickish, so slim, and so tall.