What does it mean to buy something "on tick"? I encountered it in Maureen Waller's "London 1945": "Shoes and boots, often bought on tick, were poorly made and needed frequent repair." (p. 209)

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What does it mean to buy something "on tick"? I encountered it in Maureen Waller's "London 1945": "Shoes and boots, often bought on tick, were poorly made and needed frequent repair." (p. 209)

It means using credit, in this case probably from the shopkeeper. The shoes might not last as long as it took to pay off the credit, leaving one with a debt but no shoes.

David
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What does it mean to buy something "on tick"? I encountered it in Maureen Waller's "London 1945": "Shoes and boots, often bought on tick, were poorly made and needed frequent repair." (p. 209)

As David says, "on credit". (UK synonyms with which you may well already be familiar are "hire purchase" and "the never-never".)

Cheers, Harvey
Canada for 30 years; S England since 1982.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
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What does it mean to buy something "on tick"? I encountered it in Maureen Waller's "London 1945": "Shoes and boots, often bought on tick, were poorly made and needed frequent repair." (p. 209)

On the never-never; hire purchase; on credit. The term used to cover a good deal of ground. You had things charged to your account, or, in Warrington or Wapping, you bought them on tick
On 15 Jun 2005, Sara Lorimer wrote

What does it mean to buy something "on tick"? I ... tick, were poorly made and needed frequent repair." (p. 209)

As David says, "on credit". (UK synonyms with which you may well already be familiar are "hire purchase" and "the never-never".)

Hire purchase ("the never-never") was subject to formal agreements, but "on tick" was usually an informal agreement with a shopkeeper. "Give us some bacon and eggs, and I'll pay you on Friday when I gets me dole" sort of thing. Hire purchase was called "the never-never" because many poorer people, once having started, would pay for years. Children's clothes, for example, would either wear out or be grown out of before being completely paid for, necessitating yet another HP agreement for more. Pretty similar to modern credit card debt.

Robin
What does it mean to buy something "on tick"? I ... tick, were poorly made and needed frequent repair." (p. 209)

It means using credit, in this case probably from the shopkeeper. The shoes might not last as long as it took to pay off the credit, leaving one with a debt but no shoes.

An abbreviation of "on ticket".
It's more to do with having a credit facility than using hire purchase.
John Dean
Oxford
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What does it mean to buy something "on tick"? I ... tick, were poorly made and needed frequent repair." (p. 209)

On the never-never; hire purchase; on credit. The term used to cover a good deal of ground. You had things charged to your account, or, in Warrington or Wapping, you bought them on tick

Get something on tick, To. In the seventeenth century, "ticket" was the ordinary term for the written acknowledgment of a debt, and someone living on credit was said to be living on ticket or tick.

Peter Duncanson
UK (posting from a.u.e)
On 15 Jun 2005, Sara Lorimer wrote As David says, ... already be familiar are "hire purchase" and "the never-never".)

Hire purchase ("the never-never") was subject to formal agreements, but "on tick" was usually an informal agreement with a shopkeeper. "Give us some bacon and eggs, and I'll pay you on Friday when I gets me dole" sort of thing.

Thanks I shouldn't have used "synonyms", but I've been to the pub, and can't think of a convenient word to suggest "one of the means by which those who needed credit managed to obtain stuff". (If you know what I mean.)

Cheers, Harvey
Canada for 30 years; S England since 1982.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
On 16 Jun 2005, Robin Bignall wrote

Hire purchase ("the never-never") was subject to formal agreements, but ... on Friday when I gets me dole" sort of thing.

Thanks I shouldn't have used "synonyms", but I've been to the pub, and can't think of a convenient word to suggest "one of the means by which those who needed credit managed to obtain stuff". (If you know what I mean.)

In the pub, the phrase is "put it on the slate" or possibly "chalk it up" - in fact, the transaction would rarely be recorded on an actual slate these days.

Rob Bannister
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