late 14c. as a pet form of masc. proper name Richard. Meaning "awkward provincial person" was established by 1700 (cf. rube); earlier it was the characteristic name of a hosteler, hackneyman, etc. (late 14c.), perhaps via alliteration. The adjective is recorded by 1914.
A hick town is one where there is no place to go where you shouldn't be. [attributed to U.S. humorist Robert Quillen (1887-1948)]
: wasn't bad looking in a hick way/ that hick chief of police
[1565+; fr a nickname of Richard, thought of as a country name, as Reuben is the base of ''rube'']