Posted by Victoria S Dennis on June 17, 2007
In Reply to: A lick of difference posted by Heather on June 17, 2007
: Hi, I'm chasing where this saying came from, country, by whom or any info at all - "a lick of difference". I'm thinking it means "won't make any difference" of course, but what has the "lick" got to do with it?
Every since the 18th century "lick" has had several related slang meanings: "a hasty wash", "a quick tidy-up", "a casual amount of work". In the mid-19th century a new meaning evolved from these in the US: "a bit, a cursory amount". That's the sense we have in this phrase.