I can remember hearing about Dick’s Hatband all my life. I bet you also remember hearing the phrase.
My Mama usually used the phrase in a financial sense, when she was describing a person as being stingy. I can remember two stories that she told throughout my childhood.
My Grandfather, Richard Gibson, owned and operated Gibson’s Pool in Pike County, Georgia. I was not born at the time, but Gibson’s Pool, (later changed to Clearwater Springs) was so popular that it was an official Trailway’s Bus Stop, back in the day. In other words, you could buy a bus ticket to Gibson’s Pool. I actually have one that I have laminated for posterity’s sake.
Mama said she could remember this one fella who would always bring his girl friend to the swimming pool. She said he always ordered one coke with two straws. When I asked why? She answered, “Because he was Tight As Dick’s Hatband.”
Mama always bought gas for the car at, what was then called, Mc Corkle’s Curve. (The curve was eliminated when highway 19 was changed to a four lane highway.) She stopped one day and was four cents short of having enough money to pay for the gas. Mr. Mc Corkle made her a ticket for four cents so she could pay it the next time she stopped for gas. Yes Sir, He was Tight As Dick’s Hatband.
Remember, I said my Mama usually used the phrase in a financial sense. She also used Tight As Dick’s Hatband to describe my clothes when they were fitting a little too snug in my teenage years. It went like this: That skirt is Tight As Dick’s Hatband…go change into something else.
Where did the phrase AS TIGHT AS DICK’S HATBAND originate?
There is a story that it refers to Richard Cromwell, the son of Oliver Cromwell, who briefly took over as Lord Protector of England in 1658 after his father’s death. Unfortunately, he was not the man his father was. He was too amiable, thrust into a position of responsibility at a time of national crisis. He was unable to reconcile the various problems in the military and Parliament. He was removed after eight months. The hatband was supposed to be a reference to the Crown of England, something he found too tight to wear with comfort.
Based on this, I can just imagine our history.
My Mama would say:
“Take that slutty, tight, whorish looking skirt off and throw it in the trash….it is Tight As Joe’s Hatband.”