As Tight as a Tick... I'm not seeing the origins of this saying. I'm under the impression this came from U.S. The 'South' to be precise. It means to tighten the 'ticking' on a bed before sleeping in it. The 'ticking' being the strap that runs in a zigzag pattern under the mattress. This was explained at a tour of a plantation in Atlanta, Georgia. Is this in fact where this comes from?