Dick’s hatband n Cf EDD
1 in var compar phrr such as as tight (or odd, etc) as Dick’s hatband: Very tight (or odd, etc). [OED hatband 1. b 1796 →; EDD dick sb.1]
1891 AN&Q 7.117/2, “As queer as Dick’s hatband,” or as crooked, etc. When a boy I often heard the addition, “It went around sixteen times and then wouldn’t tie.” 1892 KS Univ. Qrly. 1.96 Dick’s hatband, in the phrase, As contrary as Dick’s hatband. 1893 Ibid 1.138, Dick’s hat-band, in as odd as Dick’s hat-band. 1909 DN 3.382 eAL, wGA, Tight as Dick’s hatband. . . Very tight. Ibid 414 nME, Odd as Dick’s hat band. . . Used to describe a person who is peculiar. 1939 AmSp 14.266 IN, As tight as Dick’s hatband. 1968–70 DARE (Qu. U33, . . Nicknames for a stingy person) Inf DC11, Tight as Dick’s hatband; (Qu. U41b, Somebody who . . is very poor: “He’s poor as _____.”) Inf TX74, Dick’s hatband; (Qu. HH4, Someone who has odd or peculiar ideas or notions) Infs NY43, PA118, Odd as Dick’s hatband.
2 A person or thing one does not know and cannot identify. Cf Adam’s hat(band)
1968 DARE (Qu. II26, . . “I wouldn’t know him from _____.”) Inf MD49, Dick’s hatband.