Green’s Dictionary of Slang

calico n.1

also calic
[SE calico, a cloth, somewhat coarser than muslin, from which women’s dresses were often made. There may also be links to Scot. cailliach, an old woman, calik, a gossip and callack, a young woman; cit. 1887 refers to black women]

(US) a woman.

[US]A. Greene Glance at N.Y. II v: Come up to-night, and I’ll show you as gallus a piece of calico as any on de floor.
[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward, His Book 32: The gals among you, sum of which air as slick pieces of caliker as I ever sot eyes on.
[US]H.L. Williams Black-Eyed Beauty 9: Why, the worst bit of calico that ever an engine runner knew would be an angel to that woman!
[US]Lantern (N.O.) 28 May 3: If he likes old faded calico let him buy it, but can’t he change the color? [Ibid.] Tom is a dandy and he likes a piece of new calico.
[US]Ade Pink Marsh (1963) 129: I got no money to waste on no piece o’ calico.
[US] E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 26: calico, often abb. calic, n. A woman, individually as a companion to a man, or collectively wherever sex plays a part in social life.
[UK]Lincs. Echo 22 Nov. 2/4: In an article on college slang in the United States [...] a woman is a ‘calico’ or a ‘calic’.
[UK]H. Castling [perf. Kate Carney] Our Threepenny Hop [lyrics] You'll spot some lovely railways / And some bits of calico.
[US]Carr & Chase in ‘Word-List From Aroostook’ in DN III:v 409: calico, n. Used to denote a woman. ‘She’s a good piece of calico’.
[US]‘Max Brand’ ‘Above the Law’ in Coll. Stories (1994) 39: Know anything about the calico?
[US]Sun (NY) 4 May 2/4: His picturesque winning of that engaging ‘little slip of calico’.
[US]‘Max Brand’ ‘The Ghost’ in Goodstone Pulps (1970) 59/2: I ain’t no gossipin’ bit of calico.
[US]R.F. Adams Cowboy Lingo 199: There being ‘no calico on the range,’ women-hungry men sometimes secured wives through these agencies.
[US]Westerners’ Brand Book 120: Bill had a bad case of ‘calico fever,’ or, in other words, was woman crazy [DA].
[US] (ref. to pre-1920s) Wentworth & Flexner DAS 85/1: calico n. 1. A girl or woman [...] In use until c.1920.
[US]D. Lypchuk ‘A dirty little story’ in eye mag. 8 July [Internet] He thought she was a real bit of all right, a bunch of calico, a commodity, a freak mommy fawn.