= bender n 1; also fig.
1889 Cedar Rapids Eve. Gaz. (IA) 17 Oct /2 (newspaperarchive.com), An incident comes to mind now when the writer and Prof. Esgate, Rev. Hurlburt and Earl Boies . . with their alleged best girls, were making a veritable “hickory bender” of rule 12 which forbade the association of ladies and gentlemen after study hours. 1905 Williams Down Country Lanes 208 IA, Did ye ever make a “bender”— / “Hick’ry bender” on th’ ice? 1907 Waterloo Daily Courier (IA) 5 Jan 12/6, We know from personal experience that a good deal of excitement and fun is to be got from skating over a “hickory bender” of thin ice on pond or stream. 1950 WELS (Soft ice that will bend when you step on it but will not break) 1 Inf, WI, Hickory bender. 1961 Macartney Making 56 cwPA (as of c1890), Mother never seemed to worry about our safety, although now and then we took great chances. One of the winter thrills was what we called “Hickory Bender.” This meant skating over the river when the ice was beginning to melt and heaved up and down under us as we passed over it. 1969 DARE (Qu. B35) Inf TN31, Hickory bender. [1973 Allen LAUM 1.157 IA (as of c1950), “What do you call the ice that forms on a pond the first cold night?” . . hickory ice. [1 inf]]