tight as a tick

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tight as a tick (not comparable)

  1. (slang, simile) Drunk, inebriated.
    • 1933, Irving Berlin, "Eighteenth Amen Repealed", in The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin‎, page 290
      For there ain't no kick
      Getting tight as a tick
      When you know that you're not breaking the law
  2. Fully inflated; swollen near to bursting.
    • 2002, Steven Callahan, Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea, page 115:
      I blow it up until it's tight as a tick. Just below the skirt through which the lanyard passes, a tiny mouth whistles a single-note tune until the balloon's lungs are emptied.
  3. (slang, simile) Unwilling to spend money.
    • 2003, Anna Quindlen, Blessings: a Novel, page ‎215
      "Son, excuse me, but the woman was as tight as a tick, as my grannie used to say. The reason I didn't work on that car of hers is because the one time I did, I charged her a hundred forty-four dollars for a battery, which as you know is the cost to me. She said I was gouging her."
    • 2003, Rita Mae Brown, Catch as Cat Can‎, page 20:
      The last time she had visited, Sean's father, Tiny Tim, who was tight as a tick with his money, jovially presided over the place, one big yard filled with rusting cars.