'You get on my wick!'

Posted by Masakim on October 11, 2001

In Reply to: 'You get on my wick!' posted by Bruce Kahl 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?

: get on one's wick/t i t s 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 t i t s when someone calls me a career woman.'
: (Recorded, female journalist, London, ).
: Bloomsbury Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, © Tony Thorne 1997

wick The penis. From Hamton Wick, rhyming slang for prick. Dip the wick is sexual intercourse, a widespread male expression. 'It gets on my wick' i.e. 'it gets on my nerves' has the same root, but the expression is so many stages removed from its origin that the literal meaning penis is generally forgotten and women _and_ men use the expression.
Hampton Wick Penis. Cockney rhyming slang for 'prick' often shortened to Hampton. The name comes from the London suburb, and it is one of the more widely known rhyming slang terms.
From The Slanguage of Sex by Brigid McConville & John Shearlaw
This Sherlock Holmes act of yours gets right on my t i t s. (J. Wilson, 1977)
Gets on my wick, she do. (B. Francis, 1984)
The way you talk about Pat gets on my wick. (Kenneth Benton, 1977)