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As tight as a miser's fist

Posted by Graham Cambray on February 06, 2009 at 17:54

In Reply to: As tight as a miser's fist posted by Rob Coleman on February 06, 2009 at 12:31:

: Can't find "as tight as a miser's fist" anywhere here. Does anyone know when this phrase was first used originally?


The problem here is to separate your phrase from all its friends and relations. I doubt you can.

The word "tight-fisted" has been around for a while - Merriam-Webster says 1844; says 1835-45. That being the case, it's just a small step to embroider this usage slightly, to give the form "as tight as a *****'s fist".

A quick "google" turned up:
Tight as a boxer's fist
tight as a beggar's fist
tight as a scotsmans fist
tight as a jews fist
tight as a closed fist
tight as a baby's fist
tight as a goblin's fist
tight as a monkey's fist
Tight as a mailed fist
Tight as a dead man's fist
tight as a frozen fist
tight as a psychotic's fist
tight as a managing editor's fist

And your version too. The first four in the list above were certinly used in the "money" sense.

My guess is your phrase (a fairly straightforward development from tight-fisted - sometimes defined as meaning miserly) would have followed fairly closely behind the parent word. (GC)