tight as a tick
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(as) tight as a tick
1. Extremely drunk. The old man, tight as a tick, stumbled into the building claiming to be a prophet from the future. Sorry about last night, my dad was as tight as a tick by the end of dinner.
2. Extremely close together; at or near an equal level; neck and neck. Usually said of competitors in a race or competition. The two athletes have been tight as a tick for this entire race. The election is as tight as a tick so far. We're going to have to wait until the very last votes are tallied before we know a definitive winner.
*tight as a tick
1. very tight. (Fig. on the image of a tick swollen tight with blood or of a tick stuck tightly in someone's skin. *Also: as ~.) This lid is screwed on tight as a tick. The windows were closed—tight as a tick—to keep the cold out.
2. intoxicated. (Fig. on full as a tick. *Also: as ~.) The old man was tight as a tick but still lucid. The host got tight as a tick and fell in the pool.
3. [of a race] close, as if the racers are moving very closely together. (*Also: as ~.) This election is as tight as a tick.
4. very friendly and close; as thick as thieves. (*Also: as ~.) Those two are tight as a tick. They are always together.
tight as a tick
Drunk, as in She was tight as a tick after just one glass of wine. This expression alludes to a tick engorged with the blood of the animals it feeds on. [Slang; mid-1800s]
tight as a tickextremely drunk. informal
The simile as full as a tick occurs in a late 17th-century proverb collection, referring to the way in which the blood-sucking insects swell as they gorge themselves. In the modern expression, there is a play on tight as an informal synonym for ‘drunk’ and its literal meaning ‘stretched taut’, like a tick satiated with blood.