adjective Also rick·y-tick·y [rik-ee-tik-ee, -tik-ee]. /ˈrɪk iˈtɪk i, -ˌtɪk i/.
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Origin of ricky-tick
Words nearby ricky-tick
What does ricky-tick mean?
Ricky-tick means corny or outdated. It can be used to describe the kinds of things that seem a bit old-fashioned and silly because they come from another era.
The similar term rinky-dink can be used to mean the same thing, but it more commonly means inferior, amateurish, or small-time.
The term rinky-tink can also be used to mean the same thing as ricky-tick.
Both ricky-tick and rinky-tink can also be (and were originally) used to describe the mechanical, repetitive style and beat of ragtime or early swing music. Both terms can also be used as nouns to refer to such music.
Ricky-tick is also a military slang term meaning immediately or as quickly as possible. It’s often used in the phrase most ricky-tick, as in Drop what you’re doing most ricky-tick and get down here.
Example: His act is a bit ricky-tick, if you ask me, but I guess that’s what his audience wants to see.
Where does ricky-tick come from?
The first known records of the term ricky-tick come from the early 1930s. It is thought to be imitative of the kind of ragtime music it refers to, which is known for its strict two-four time, steady syncopation, and jangling piano sound. Ragtime was developed around 1900 and was especially popularized by Scott Joplin.
The similar term rinky-tink may be a blend of ricky-tick and rinky-dink.
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How is ricky-tick used in real life?
None of the senses of ricky-tick are commonly used.
People quote Paul Simon's "Kodachrome" like it's holy writ…you wouldn't know the song's the ricky-tick, jokey ragtime knockoff that it is.
— Marshall N Armintor (@mnarmintor) September 17, 2011
— Hillary O'Connor Mueri (@HillaryMueri) January 26, 2021
Try using ricky-tick!
Is ricky-tick used correctly in the following sentence?
I love the ricky-tick sound of tinny old player pianos.
Example sentences from the Web for ricky-tick
She actually had never been to a Deer Tick show before, but she liked it a lot.
So we picked out the song (“Rhiannon,” click here for video), and Deer Tick learned it.
Ricky Gervais, the sultan of scorn, uttered that cheeky bit while emceeing the Golden Globes ceremony a few years back.The Golden Globes Sobers Up (Sort Of): Years of Ridicule and Bribery Rumors Scares HFPA Straight|Marlow Stern|December 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Ricky Jackson is the longest-serving person in U.S. history to be freed.For Ricky Jackson, a Just Verdict—But 39 Years Too Late|Cliff Schecter|November 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Ricky was very influenced by This Is Spinal Tap, and I was always a fan of Woody Allen movies.Stephen Merchant Talks ‘Hello Ladies’ movie, the Nicole Kidman Cameo, and Legacy of ‘The Office’|Marlow Stern|November 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“The sepoys have come in from Meerut,” he announced with the slow tick of the earliest form of apparatus.The Red Year|Louis Tracy
Ive run a steam laundry in Porto Ricky and had the whole danged business washed away in a hurricane.The Woman Gives|Owen Johnson
“Seems more cheerful like,” observed the caretaker, as the steady tick-tack began to sound through the quiet room.The Daughters of Danaus|Mona Caird
Some animals, like the rhino and the eland, have tick birds that sit upon their backs and eat the ticks.In Africa|John T. McCutcheon
Often, for a variety in the lessons, she had to go to the baker without money; then her master simply gave the order, ‘on tick!’The Animal Story Book|Various