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Tick-a-lock

Posted by J. Harrod on August 27, 2002

I am wondering if anyone knows the origin of the expression "tick-a-lock"? Sometimes it is accomapanied by a hand gesture of a hand turning an invisible "key" near the lips, and means.. "I'll never tell' or something like that. I get the "lock' part, but why "tick"? (T.V. reference: I've heard many of the denizens of MAyberry use it, as well as Archie Bunker.)

Thanks!

J