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Re: 'You get on my wick!'

Posted by Bruce Kahl on October 11, 2001

In Reply to: Re: 'You get on my wick!' posted by Bob on October 11, 2001

: : We all know that to get on someone's 'wick' is to annoy them. Where does the saying derive from - what has the 'wick' got to do with anything?

: Never heard the phrase in the U.S. Is it regional? Or perhaps cricket-related, a vocabulary that bewilders us here?

get on one's wick/tits vb British
to irritate, annoy or vex. The 'wick' in question, unknown to many speakers, is a now rather archaic shortening of hampton wick, rhyming slang for prick (which is nowadays more usually shortened to hampton). In spite of the implied gender difference, both versions of the expression are used indiscriminately by both men and women.

'It really gets on my tits when someone calls me a career woman.'
(Recorded, female journalist, London, ).
Bloomsbury Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, © Tony Thorne 1997

See also: the meaning and origin of 'you get on my wick'.