Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hick n.1

[popular corruption of the personal name Dick, seen as generic]

1. (also hic) a potential victim, a gullible simpleton.

Wandring whores complaint 4: I met with a Country Hick, and steping before him, I dropt a Jacobus, and taking it up, he cry’d half.
[UK]‘L.B.’ New Academy of Complements 204: The sixth is a Foyl-cloy that not one Hick spares.
[Ire] ‘Of the Budge’ Head Canting Academy (1674) 12: But when that we come out again, / And the merry Hick we meet, / We file his cole, / As he pikes along the street.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Hick, any Person of whom any Prey can be made or Booty taken from.
[UK]Defoe Street Robberies Considered 32: Hic, Booby.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. n.p.: The fourteenth, a gamester, if he sees the hick sweet He presently drops down a cog in the street [F&H].
[US]H. Green Mr. Jackson 107: Why the pore hicks who give up oughter be tickled to deat’ fut the chanct of losin’ their coin to him.
[US]H.C. Witwer Smile A Minute 28: We’ll get the big hick, too!
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 255: I’m a hick [...] Plumb green.
[US]A. James America’s Homosexual Underground 23: What a hick I was! I never suspected him of being a fag.
[UK]J. Carr Bad (1995) 86: ‘Well, here’s the facts,’ I said, looking the hick in the eye.

2. any inhabitant of the countryside, a peasant, a farmer.

[[UK]T. Harding in Jewel Defence of the Apologie (1611) 529: Be it that Hicke, Hob, and Hans, of your Sects haue impudentlie accused him [OED]].
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Hick c. [...] a silly Country Fellow.
[UK] ‘The Long Vacation’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) IV 144: One above the rest, / So wondrous Trim; / You would swear she was a Hick, / And no common Brim.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy IV 323: You would swear she was a Hick, / And no common Brim.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 30: The Eighth is a Bulk that can bulk any hick, / If the Master be napp’d, then the Bulk he is sick.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Hick, a country hick, an ignorant clown (cant).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 110: Hick Jop, a bumpkin, a fool. Hick Sam, a country fellow, a fool.
[Aus]G.C. Mundy Our Antipodes II 176: Johnny Hicky (as the soldiers called him).
[UK] ‘Thief-Catcher’s Prophecy’ in W.H. Logan Pedlar’s Pack of Ballads 143: [as cit. 1754].
[US]Ade Girl Proposition 91: It was a loud Hick.
[US]H. Green Maison De Shine 243: He’s a hick who’s been in vaudeville [...] You can see the hay on him yet, but he sure can dance.
[US]R. Lardner ‘Three Kings and a Pair’ in Gullible’s Travels 45: It’s high time she was gettin’ married, and I don’t want her marryin’ none o’ them Hoosier hicks.
[US]N. Putnam West Broadway 19: No New Yorker is supposed to rubber at the upper part [of a building]. Only the hicks do that.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 91: If the hicks back home could see me in this rig, they’d have a fit!
[US]Florence Desmond ‘Cigarettes, Cigars’ 🎵 I was one of those hicks, / That came here from the sticks.
[US]W.R. Burnett High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 291: You see that hick over there with the big shoulders and the ugly face?
[US]S. Bellow Henderson The Rain King 316: The Canadian hicks were rejoicing underneath with red faces.
[Ire]P. Boyle All Looks Yellow to the Jaundiced Eye 111: It was dowdy [...] making of her a hick, a real dyed-in-the-wool country hick.
[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 98: These fuckers are like hicks in a small town, he thought.
[Aus]C. Bowles G’DAY 42: If you live in a rural area you are a cockie or a bushie or a hick.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 12: The hicks will know that some new rough element has dropped in on their town.
[UK]Guardian G2 18 June 5: She feels like a hick who has come up to the big city.
[US]P. Cornwell Blow Fly (2004) 2: She is still Nick the Hick from Zachery, Louisiana.
[US]Simon & Burns ‘Stay Frosty’ Generation Kill ep. 6 [TV script] You fuckin’ messed up hick, you can’t even eat ravioli.
[US]F. Bill ‘Hill Clan Cross’ in Crimes in Southern Indiana [ebook] [S]ounding like a southern Indiana hick.
[US]I. Fitzgerald Dirtbag, Massachusetts 71: [F]reaked out about what the hell kind of scary hick their kid had brought on vacation.

3. anyone parochial and limited, irrespective of origin.

[US]T.A. Dorgan Indoor Sports 25 Jan. [synd. cartoon] Indoor Sports. Listening to a henpecked hick stall his way out of a poker game with the boys.
[US]J. Lait Broadway Melody 3: A big-town hick, wise in his generation, who thinks the world is bounded by the rivers that surround Manhattan.
Pando Qly Spring 53/1: The North Carolina contingent made us Yankees look like hicks.

4. (US) a Puerto Rican.

[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS (Supplement).

5. (US campus) one who lacks social and/or academic abilities.

[US]Baker et al. CUSS.

In derivatives

hickish (adj.)

unsophisticated, rural.

N. Ward Three Nights Adventures 76: I soon cast off my Hickish Apparel.
C. Brown ‘Lang. of Soul’ in Esquire Apr. 160/4: ‘Way out’ had an ad hoc hickish ring to it which made it intolerably unsoulful; consequently it was soon replaced by ‘out of sight’.

see separate entries.

In compounds

hick town (n.)

(US) a small town; also attrib.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 44: At last they put a plank over the puddle — gee. these hick towns are the limits on improvements.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt 57: They live in one of these hick towns up-state.
[US]C.G. Finney Circus of Dr Lao 19: Can you imagine a real honest-to-god satyr driving a gold-plated mule down the main drag of a hick town?
[US]Sat. Eve. Post 12 Feb. 21/2: More are resentful of the implication that ‘Peoria’ is synonymous with ‘hick town’ [DA].
[US]C. Himes Imabelle 36: That old hick-town pitch.
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Room to Swing 14: A hick town could be either a wonderful hideout or a trap.
[US]Mad mag. Jan. 38: Maybe the folks back home in your hick towns will see you.
[US]C. Himes Rage in Harlem (1969) 36: [as 1957].
Cuffari & Taylor Odyssey of Ben O’Neal 20: ‘This is a hick town.’ Hick town? He should visit Whalebone, North Carolina.
C. Scott Parker N.Y. Times 24 Nov. n.p.: We aren’t just a little hick town and I didn’t come in off a turnip truck [R].
D.M. Hummon Commonplaces 151: That little hick town [...] There ought to be horses tied to posts instead of cars.
[US]N. Tosches Where Dead Voices Gather (ms.) 309: Back in the days before New York became the biggest hick town in the world.
L.J. Mannon Circle of the Hawk 88: This little hick town was a place that couldn’t attract someone career driven.

In phrases

hick stick (v.)

(UK und.) for a pickpocket team to close in on a targeted victim.

[UK]Thieves Slang ms list from District Police Training Centre, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwicks 5: Hick stick: To close in when picking pockets.