1. in senses of SE thick-headed.
(a) stupid, dull, foolish; often as thick as... adj. (1) .
|Every Man Out of his Humour II i: I think he feeds her with porridge, [...] she could never have such a thick brain else.|
|Answer to Dolman iv M: I omit your thicke error in putting no difference betweene a magistrate and a king .|
|Spanish Curate V i: A thick ram-headed Knave.|
|Liberty of Conscience v n.p.: What if you think our reasons thick, and our ground of separation.|
|Proceedings Old Bailey 30 May 62/2: He said, d – n the D – of C – , his h – was too thick to take it in.|
|Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 151: Would Jove to all the rest assign / Noddles but half as thick as thine.|
|Works (1794) III 137: Thick as may be the head of poor John Bull, The beast hath got some brains within his skull.‘More Money’|
|Sporting Mag. Apr. XVI 44/1: ‘Here comes paper-skull.’ – ‘Who do you call paper-skull? [...] my head is as thick as any of yours!’.|
|Gypsey of the Glen I iii: Run your thick heads into halters.|
|Navy at Home II 138: A professed passer of midshipmen’s, who undertook [...] to knock a given quantity of navigation into the skulls of these grown up gentlemen, let them be ever so thick.|
|‘Anecdotes of British Lawyers’ Town Talk 8 Aug. 203: No more than one idea could ever stay in his thick head at a time.|
|School-Life at Winchester College (1870) 238: Thick – Stupid.|
|Sheffield Gloss. 255: Thick, dull stupid.|
|‘’Arry in ’Arrygate’ Punch 24 Sept. 133/2: He seemed jest a bit thick.|
|Gem 16 Mar. 2: Your grey matter, meaning your thick head!|
|Score by Innings (2004) 397: I must have been pretty thick, because I didn’t tumble at first.‘Excess Baggage’|
|Three Soldiers 19: Run around the room a little . . . No, not that way. Just a little so I can test yer heart . . . God, these rookies are thick.|
|One-Way Ride 62: Polack Joe, ‘a little thick in the head,’ as Police Captain John Stege described him.|
|Tarry Flynn (1965) 147: ‘He’s a very thick man,’ said Tarry. ‘He’s a hasty man, ‘ said Petey, ‘but I wouldn’t say he’s a thick man.’.|
|Scholarly Mouse and other Tales 62: There must be a safe way if I’m not too thick in the nut.|
|Saved Scene vii: He goes we’re ’ere, the thick bastard, an’ lets ’em in.|
|Family Arsenal 31: You’re really thick – you shouldn’t have told me that.|
|Tin Wife 65: Don’t piss an unlimited career away by acting like a thick Mick.|
|(con. 1944) Prince Charming 54: You’re thicker than you sound, lad.|
|Beyond Black 180: She was a bit thick, wasn’t she? [...] She didn’t get any exams in school.|
|(con. 1973) Johnny Porno 309: You’re thick [...] Stubborn like his father.|
(b) dull-headed, ‘dopey’.
|Nonsense 53: One night I felt a little thick, and went to the buttery for the gin bottle!|
|Soldiers Three (1907) 106: I made feign to be far gone in dhrink an’ [...] I went away, walkin’ thick an’ heavy.‘Black Jack’|
|Sporting Times 13 June 1/3: When he’s ‘squiffy,’ my word! he’s sufficiently thick, / But when sober he’s quite as opaque.‘A Consistent Consort’|
|Bulldog Drummond 196: Looks like a boozing den after a thick night.|
|N.Z. Truth 29 Apr. 1/8: They drink till they’re thick in the head.|
|Cloven Hoof 153: You look a bit under the weather; have a thick night?|
2. in senses of lit. or fig. closeness.
(a) close, intimate; often as thick as... adj. (2)
|Refusal 42: Since our Men of Quality are got so thick into Change-Alley, who knows but in time a great Man’s Word may go as far as a Tradesman’s?|
|inLiterary Anecd. 18th C. (1812) II 70: We begin now, though contrary to my expectation, and without my seeking, to be pretty thick; and I thank God who reconciles me to my adversaries .|
|Belle’s Stratagem III ii: Sally is very thick with Mr. Gibson, Sir George’s gentleman.|
|Dialect of Craven.|
|Oliver Twist (1966) 388: Yer a very nice man, and I’m very fond of yer; but we ain’t quite so thick together, as all that comes to.|
|Pierce Fenning 41: You and the Britisher seem to be pretty thick!|
|Digby Grand (1890) 23: Major O’Toole [...] warned me repeatedly that I was ‘much too thick with Miss Jones.’.|
|Artemus Ward, His Book 69: Our parents (Betsy’s and mine) slept reglarly every Sunday in the same meetin house, and the nabers used to obsarve, ‘How thick the Wards and Peasleys air!’.|
|Duke’s Children (1954) 370: That fellow Tregear, who is so thick with Silverbridge.|
|‘In the Guards!’ in Mr Punch’s Model Music Hall 75: With duchesses I’m ’and in glove, with countesses I’m thick.|
|Abner Daniel 212: Fincher’s his best friend [...] an’ they are mighty thick.|
|Rigby’s Romance (1921) Ch. xxx: [Internet] Presently I got thick with Nora again.|
|Jim of the Ranges 23: He’s not the sort for you to get thick with.|
|Dubliners (1956) 124: Fanning and himself seem to me very thick. They’re often in Kavanagh’s together.‘Ivy Day in the Committee Room’|
|Black Mask Aug. III 46: We had been through training camp together [...] and were pretty thick, being from the same city.|
|Hungry Men 171: He was too thick with the niggers, though. He treated them like they was white.|
|Sparkling Cyanide (1955) 104: They were pretty thick at the office and there’s an idea there that she was keen on him.|
|Coll. Poems (1959) 237: Miss Blewitt says Monica threw it, / But Monica says it was Joan, / And Joan’s very thick with Miss Blewitt, / So Monica’s sulking alone.‘Hunter Trials’ in|
|Semi-Tough 94: Rudi Tambunga is very thick with the owners of the dog-ass Jets, the Mastrioni brothers.|
|Outside In I i: I saw you thick with that kid.|
|Golden Orange (1991) 273: They were thick, those two!|
|Sucked In 41: ‘They were pretty thick, were they?’ ‘Chalk and cheese [...] Mortal enemies’.|
(b) (US campus) emotionally involved, romantically attached.
|Iron Man 50: I didn’t know you managers liked to have your boys thick with women.|
|Shearer’s Colt 26: Maggie’s the girl who works there, and she and I used to be pretty thick.|
|Blow Negative! 245: I thought you two were pretty thick.|
|AS L:1/2 68: That couple is really thick.‘Razorback Sl.’ in|
3. unacceptable due to its excess, too much to handle; usu. in phr. a bit thick.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Jul. 14/4: Lord Shaftsbury said of the teachers of the early Ragged Schools that they were ‘men and woman [...] who […] devoted themselves to the work in a real spirit of martyrdom which they would not find in all the history of Popish religion.’ This is rather ‘too thick.’.|
|Birmingham Dly Post 31 Mar. 3/4: [H]e unravelled such a ‘yarn’ that even the good man [...] deemed it rather ‘thick’.|
|Hooligan Nights 14: Giving mugs and other barmy sots the push [...] when their swank got a bit too thick.|
|Mop Fair 201: Strike me up a plum tree, this is too, too thick!|
|Thirty-Nine Steps (1930) 126: ‘O Lord,’ said the young man. ‘This is a bit too thick.’.|
|Roman Hat Mystery 133: Really, now, old chap, that’s a bit thick.|
|Hotspur 11 Jan. 47: It’s a bit thick that we’ve already lost more of our regular team through mumps than the other Houses.|
|Otterbury Incident 100: It was a bit thick – the line Toppy was taking with Ted.|
|West Coast Stories 160: It is a bit thick to swallow, isn’t it?‘The North-west Ladies’|
|Jeeves in the Offing 82: A bit thick.|
|Wake in Fright [ebook] ‘I don’t pay for any of the beer I drink.’ Grant didn’t quite know how to react, so he just said: ‘Don’t you?’ ‘I could get yours free too, but it’d be making it a bit thick, wouldn’t it’.|
|Much Obliged, Jeeves 94: ‘This is a bit thick, what,’ I said.|
|Van (1998) 354: I’m to do the sink an’ the washin’ machine but I’m not goin’ to. It’s thick.|
|(con. 1960s) London Blues 280: But doing it with a couple of niggers . . . that’s a bit thick, isn’t it?|
4. intense; dedicated.
|‘Bai Jove’ [lyrics] At Billiards, we’re thick’uns, you bet, boys, / Pool and Pyramids too are our pride.|
|[perf. Vesta Tilley] My Friend the Major [lyrics] Very thick at Baccarat.|
|Hooligan Nights 43: Not wivout giving ’em somefink thick in the way of slanging.|
|Marvel 12 Nov. 7: Nibbley’s a thick ’un – a dead wrong ’un, Nibbley is.|
|Cockney At Home 68: I can’t quite call to mind what ’appened arter that – not clearly, I mean. It got so thick. And I mixed it crool.|
|Tragic Magic 143: The tension in prison is so thick you can cut it with a knife.|
5. of an accent, very strong.
|(con. 1875) Cruise of the ‘Cachalot’ 329: A man—short, tubby, with [...] a brogue thick as pea-soup.|
|Woodfill of the Regulars 15: My mother’s folks were Germans, and talked with an accent so darn thick sometimes we couldn’t tell what it was all about.|
|(con. 1940s) Sowers of the Wind 120: ‘What’s them bastards allowed in here for, anyway?’ [...] It was the voice of an American, thick with drink and hatred.|
|Dress Gray (1979) 298: He’s got an accent so fuckin’ thick.IV|
|(con. 1920s) Emerald Square 61: He hated Dublin kids, who jeered him behind his back, imitating his country accent, thick as pig’s muck.|
6. (US black) in senses of quantity or quality.
(a) (US) substantial in number.
|Central Record (Lancaster, KY) 16 Aug. 1/4: ‘Dope’ Fiends Thick. Itis said that fifty per cent of the negros on Battle Row are addicted to the use of cocaine.|
|Sun (NY) 27 July 40/1: They were thick as quick lunches all along the side streets.|
|‘My Philosophy’ [lyrics] My posse from the Bronx is thick / and we’re real live.|
|‘African Connection’ [lyrics] More brothers come about, try to scheme slick / But the Native Tongue's thick / Lick ’em real good.|
(b) extremely drunken.
|‘We Haven’t Got a Hope’ in Airman’s Song Book (1945) 59: I’d had a thick night and a very sore head.|
(c) (UK/US black) of a woman, physically attractive.
|Campus Sl. Apr. 10: thick – having a good figure. Said of a female.|
|‘Life Is 2009’ [lyrics] Keep a bad yella bitch and a thick young brown.|
|Girl Wide Web 2.0 61: Black adolescent boys prefer shapely and ‘thick girls’ [...] By emphasizing ‘thickness’ [...] the girls in NevaEvaLand have over turned the White beauty ideal in favour of a more realistic view of body image based on the cultural ideas of beauty valued in Black culture.|
|‘No Mediocre’ [lyrics] Super thick, pretty face.|
(d) of a man, having a large penis.
(e) (US campus) overweight.
|Da Bomb [Internet] 29: Thick: Heavy, overweight.|
|Campus Sl. Apr.|
(f) used of objects or people, displaying wealth [i.e. a thick roll of cash].
|Source Aug. 144: Snoop’s house is so thick, you have to hold your gin and juice above your head so as not to spill it.|
see separate entries.
see separate entry.
see separate entry.
confused, at a loss for coherence.
|‘’Arry in ’Arrygate’ Punch 24 Sept. 133/2: He seemed jest a bit thick in the clear.|
|‘’Arriet on Labour’ Punch 26 Aug. 88/1: Bit bosky, Sam, thick in the clear, as usual on Saint Monday.|
SE in slang uses
1. an ear that has swollen up after a blow; usu. in phr. give someone a thick ear.
|Sporting Times 24 Feb. 1/2: That’s ’ow I got this thick ear!|
|Magnet 10 Sept. 2: That sort of talk will get you a thick ear.|
|Ulysses 546: He doesn’t half want a thick ear, the blighter. Biff him one, Harry.|
|Essex Newsman 15 Apr. 4/7: ‘What is a thick ear?’ Judge Crawford asked [...] He is informed by counsel that it was a boxing term.|
|Aberdeen Jrnl 19 Sept. 1/4: He would not cast odium on women’s demands, he confessed ‘ might get a thick ear’.|
|Quare Fellow (1960) Act I: I’ll wave you a thick ear.|
|Bang To Rights 165: If they see anyone hurting [an animal] that person has a good chance of getting a thick earhole.|
|Teems of Times and Happy Returns 44: But the scar added a terrible ha ha hee, and usually earned Grinner an undeserved thick ear.|
|Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 83: Most of the barmen that I had any dealings with would give you a thick ear as soon as look at you.|
|(con. 1930s) Emerald Square 114: They had an ‘oul fella’ who gave them a thick ear and sometimes a penny.|
|How to Shoot Friends 71: I’ve had my head punched in so many times that I would get a thick ear, if I had one left, just listening to it all.|
2. in fig. use, a thug.
|Hazell and the Three-card Trick (1977) 114: What you got — a few hundred quid? That’s enough to buy a thick-ear like me, I suppose?|
the larger portion.
|Dict. Archaic and Provincial Words II 864/1: thick end. A considerable part [...] ‘The thick-end of a mile.’ Linc.|
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 243/2: Thick end of a hundred years (Yorks.). Nearly a century.|
|Jimmy Brockett 205: All right, Jimmy, we’ve sold you forward. [...] You’ve had the thick end of the stick all along — now it’s our turn.|
|Big Show 165: Fagged out, dead beat, nerves in tatters [...] we always got the thick end of the stick.(trans.)|
|Frying-Pan 60: They’ll tell you how many officers have applied for transfers [...] It’s the thick end of ninety since I came.|
|Life and Work among Navvies 43: Navvies themselves speak of one another as ‘muck-shifters,’ or ‘thick-legs.’.|
|Secrets of Tramp Life Revealed 3: Labourers, navvies, or ‘Thick Legged Ones.’.|
|(con. 1850s) Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 161: Pinchers or Thick-legs – who made the first Australian railway in the early Fifties.|
a minor beating, lit. a lip that has swollen up after receiving a blow.
|‘Mae West in “The Hip Flipper”’ [comic strip] in Tijuana Bibles (1997) 100: He tried to drag Lotta up into the hay-loft and got a thick lip for his efforts.|
|Crumple Zone 180: Alv din get no beatin’, just a thick lip.|
|Ulysses 311: The curse of a goodfornothing God light sideways on the bloody thicklugged sons of whores’ get!|
a large, thuggish person.
|Psmith Journalist (1993) 320: ‘Kid’s right,’ said thick-neck number one.|
|(con. 1900s) Elmer Gantry 49: One of those thick-necks that was born husky and tries to make you think he made himself husky by prayer and fasting.|
|On the Waterfront (1964) 41: Truck [...] wasn’t satisfied just being a thickneck and had to double as a comedian.|
see thick ’un n.
(UK prison) food.
|Leaves from a Prison Diary I 161: Millbank for thick shins and graft at the pump; / Broadmoor for all laggs as go off their chump.|
|Twenty-Five Years of Detective Life II 186: Millbank for thick shins [...] Brixton for good toke.|
|Of Virgil his Æneis ded. to Dvnsayne: What thinck you of thee thick skyn, that made this for a fare wel for his mystresse vpon his departure from Abintowne?|
stupid, foolish; also as adv.; thus thick-skull/thick-scull n., a fool.
|Sir Martin Mar-all I i: Now will this thick-scull’d Master of mine tell the whole Story to his Rival.|
|Epsom Wells I i: That men should be such infinite Coxcombs to live scurvily to get a reputation among thick-scull’d Peasants.|
|Erasmus Colloquies 100: I should hammer it into the heads of those thick-skull’d Courtiers.|
|Love for Love IV i: Why, you thick-sculled rascal, I tell you the farce is done.|
|Memoirs (1714) 13: Mud, a Fool, or Thick-scul Fellow.|
|Artifice Act III: Ha, Thickscull! [...] Why you Thickscull’d Rascal! – You unthinking Dolt!|
|The Quaker’s Opera III ii: Oh you Thick-skull!|
|Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 21: Then I hope you’ll hang yourself / For being such a thick-skull’d elf.|
|Yankey in London 160: Dutch scoundrel, French coward, and German thick-scull are familiar in his abuse.|
|Scots Mag. 1 June 5/2: He had the assurance to spit in my face and call me a thick-skulled booby!|
|Royal Cornwall Gaz. 19 May 4/4: Some thick-sculled bigots gravely asserted, that it was invented by a Jesuit.|
|Cork Examiner 3 July 1/5: The Orangemen [...] are a set of ‘thick-sculled unpurchaseable fellows’ who defy him in everything.|
|Westmorland Gaz. 6 Mar. 7/3: Thank God we shall no longer have the impenetrable, thick-sculled stupidity of Sir Charles Wood to contend with.|
|Bradford Obs. 26 Feb. 7/4: The councillor and aldermen may rest assured that they are far too heavy and thick-sculled for the purpose.|
|Reynolds’ Newspaper (London) 19 Sept. 4/6: Their resolutions are worthy of reproduction, if only to show what thick-skulled boobies and brainless bores are elected.|
|Cornishmen 4 Mar. 4/5: At the Port he had some old birds who are not to be caught by chaff [...] nor yet so ‘thick-skulled,’ as Pat says.|
|Indianpolis News (IN) 6 Sept. 4/2: Just like cheap white men, there may be ‘thick-skulled nergroes’ claiming so much influence.|
|Dundee Courier 5 May 4/3: The thick-skulled Councillors were not awar of any attack on it before, and some of the denser are not aware of it yet.|
|Northants Eve. Teleg. 23 Aug. 4/2: ‘What an imbecile,’ exclaimed the former. ‘It is the folly of this thick-skulled nation,’ agreed the Secretary.|
|Bar-20 Days 43: You dod-blasted, thick-sculled wooden-heads.|
|Morn. Post 9 Feb. 4/3: Ours is no common parish, ours is a thick-skulled thinking, and provident committee.|
|Dead End Act II: drina, quietly: I ain’t no Red. policeman, thick-skulled: Well you talk like one.|
|Capt. Bulldog Drummond 112: How [...] is our worthy but thick-skulled friend going to settle that burning question for us?|
see separate entry.
(US black) stylish nylon socks, usu. black or brown.
|Black Jargon in White America 82: thick ’n thins n. a type of nylon socks, commonly worn and considered stylish by many black men.|