from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A stack of hay, straw, or similar material, especially when covered or thatched for protection from the weather.
  • transitive v. To pile into ricks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A stack, stook or pile of grain, straw, hay etc., especially as protected with thatching.
  • n. A stack of wood, especially cut to a regular length; also used as a measure of wood, typically four by eight feet.
  • v. To heap up (hay, etc.) in ricks.
  • n. A brand new (naive) boot camp inductee.
  • v. slightly sprain or strain the neck, back, ankle etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A stack or pile, as of grain, straw, or hay, in the open air, usually protected from wet with thatching.
  • transitive v. To heap up in ricks, as hay, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pile up in ricks.
  • See wrick.
  • n. A heap or pile; specifically, a pile of hay or grain, generally cylindrical, with the top rounded or conical, and sometimes thatched for protection from rain.
  • n. Synonyms Shock, etc. See sheaf.
  • n. In parts of the United States, applied only to an oblong-shaped pile.
  • n. A pile of brushwood used in the concentration of weak brine from salt-wells, the brine being allowed to trickle over the pile with free exposure to the air.
  • n. Along the coast from New England to Delaware, a mass of salt-marsh hay supported upon piles.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. twist suddenly so as to sprain
  • n. a stack of hay
  • v. pile in ricks
  • n. a painful muscle spasm especially in the neck or back (`rick' and `wrick' are British)


Middle English reke, from Old English hrēac.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English hrēac, from Proto-Germanic. Cognate with Dutch rook, Norwegian rauk, Swedish rök. (Wiktionary)
Middle English wricke (Wiktionary)
Abbreviated form from recruit (Wiktionary)


  • Katomar at 12 -- i noticed too; hopefully 'rick' is not using OUR taxpayer-funded working hours & computers to blog; could be a student, but i'm not sure they allow access to these web sites in lib retraining camps.

    Sound Politics: Diversity of opinion, Seattle-style

  • April 16th, 2010 5: 48 pm ET wow! all we are going to hear from rick is more wars. no thanks, we had enough of your wars rdepontb

    Santorum plans foreign policy speech in key primary state

  • Even bush has said there were no WMDs. rick is a huge weenie and as a PA resident everyone I know is working hard to make sure we do not blight the nation with his neo-facist brand of conservatism for another term.

    Think Progress » Santorum: We Found the WMD

  • They were busily 'unhaling' the rick, that is, stripping off the thatch before beginning to throw down the sheaves; and while this was in progress Izz and Tess, with the other women-workers, in their whitey-brown pinners, stood waiting and shivering, Farmer Groby having insisted upon their being on the spot thus early to get the job over if possible by the end of the day.

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles

  • The long strap which ran from the driving-wheel of his engine to the red thresher under the rick was the sole tie-line between agriculture and him.

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles

  • They were busily "unhaling" the rick, that is, stripping off the thatch before beginning to throw down the sheaves; and while this was in progress Izz and Tess, with the other women-workers, in their whitey-brown pinners, stood waiting and shivering, Farmer Groby having insisted upon their being on the spot thus early to get the job over if possible by the end of the day.

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles

  • She wrote: "rick apologized to jon stewart today. they had a good talk. jon was gracious and called rick, 'thin-skinned.' he's right."

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • BALLROOM DANCE TEACHER ballroom dance teacher needed f / t. will fully train. call rick

    Music news, reviews, comment and features |

  • Watch the viral video of the day – a Rick Astley/Nirvana mashup of “Never Gonna Give You Up” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” called “Never Gonna Give Your Teen Spirit Up” … a new and clever kind of rick roll!

    Rick Astley Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Rickrolled (Video)

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield, others I can't remember, and a corporation called "phrma. org," which I am sure represents a whole "rick" of other companies that are making a killing on the empty hole from $2,500 to $5,500.

    Hens' Teeth Anybody?


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  • Gives new meaning to being rick-rolled.

    December 22, 2009

  • "Adam walked round by the rick-yard, at present empty of ricks, to the little wooden gate leading into the garden—once the well-tended kitchen-garden of a manor-house;"
    -George Eliot in Adam Bede

    December 22, 2009

  • That was scary...

    April 28, 2009

  • I've been thinking about the subtle difference between crick and rick. The best explanation I've been able to find online is here.

    April 28, 2009

  • I thought one ricked one's back, but cricked one's neck.

    November 8, 2007

  • Or maybe feak. I've learned about 30 ways to say anus since discovering Wordie.

    Good times, indeed.

    November 7, 2007

  • I think the word you're searching for is fundament, reesetee.

    And you're right c_b. But it would be just my luck...

    November 7, 2007

  • Oooooh. I see. That has to be a real pain in the...

    Oh, never mind.

    November 7, 2007

  • Well, that's just it. Hay and straw are kind of prickly, so you might get jabbed in... say... your posterior, but it doesn't mean it's a needle, necessarily.

    November 7, 2007

  • I suspect if you just sat down in the haystack you'd find it pretty quickly...

    November 7, 2007

  • Hmm. No...but I'd guess it was pretty tough to do. You know, since they made a metaphor out of the phrase. :-P

    November 7, 2007

  • Did you see that episode of "Myth Busters," reesetee, where they tested several theories for how hard it was to find needles in haystacks?

    Good show.

    November 7, 2007

  • But can you find a needle in any of them? That's my question.

    November 7, 2007

  • C_B: Everything I can find lists haystack and hayrick as synonyms, along with haycock and haymow. I figure, what the hay?...

    November 7, 2007

  • Is there a definitive difference, then, between a hayrick and a haystack? I always thought there was--that one is piled up differently than the other. I know haystacks are supposed to be made in such a way that the rain runs off them. I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that a hayrick was arranged somewhat differently--though obviously it would still be desirable to have the rain run off the rick.

    These are the thoughts that occupied my brain when I was eight years old and reading fairy tales about shepherds.

    November 7, 2007

  • I suspect hayrick is directly related, c_b. Some folks use "rick up" as a noun specifically to apply to a stack trees of small diameter piled up tipi-fashion for drying. That configuration is very much reminiscent of a haystack with a central pole.

    November 7, 2007

  • Unless you're reading the definition above, in which case we're talking about neck spasms. ;-)

    November 7, 2007

  • Also wonder if the word hayrick is related in some way. Seems likely.

    November 7, 2007

  • Interesting! I wonder whether that usage comes from the measurement term--seems likely, no?

    November 7, 2007

  • Not necessarily, but usually. You might hear someone say "He ricked his wood crosswise this time," but you're just as likely to hear "He ricked up his wood crosswise..." or "He ricked his wood up crosswise..."

    November 7, 2007

  • Is it always used with "up," skipvia?

    November 7, 2007

  • Also used as a verb meaning to stack or arrange a woodpile, as in "I need to rick up my wood for winter."

    November 6, 2007

  • Traditionally, a unit of volume for firewood representing a stack of split firewood 4 feet high and 8 feet long, the logs being of a standard length, usually 16 inches (equivalent to 1/3 cord). Because the size of a rick has been manipulated by vendors, some U.S. states have made it illegal to sell firewood by the rick. The name comes from an old Norse word for a stack of wood. Also called a face cord or tier.

    November 6, 2007