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Old mick vs old nick

Posted by ESC on October 02, 2000

In Reply to: Old mick vs old nick posted by kmg on October 02, 2000

: Can anyone help settle a bet? Which is accurate, and what is the origin of the phrase?

: Full of the ol' mick
: Full of the ol' nick

: Many thanks in advance!

I can't settle the bet. I can tell you that "Old Nick" is another name for the devil (probably from the "evil genius of Renaissance statesmanship," Niccolo Machiavelli, according to "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).

Could "Old Mick" mean whiskey? A slur against the good people of Ireland?

That would make both phrases correct: full of the devil or full of the drink.

Does anyone have any ideas on Nick/Mick question?