Posted by ESC on February 03, 2001
In Reply to: Worth a lick? posted by marcus on February 03, 2001
: : As stated in Tricia Yearwood's song - "he ain't worth a lick" I'm assuming it is related to "worth a lick of salt" but can't find anything in the major Quotation books or online about either phrase. Can anyone tell me the meaning and origin?
: : Roman troops were paid with salt as part of their compensation for service. Salt was considered precious for any number of reasons. To state that "He aint worth his salt" is to imply he didn't earn his pay or he just aint worth it period. I assume "aint worth a lick" is another way of saying "it", being the operative word here, isn't worth the effort to fix.
"Lick" also means striking a blow. As in, "He is so lazy he wouldn't hit a lick at a snake."