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Thread: Sleep Tight

  1. #1
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    Default Sleep Tight

    From whence comes the expression 'Sleep Tight?'

    I realize it means to sleep well or sleep soundly, but how did the word 'tight' come to mean such a thing? I generally associate the opposite of tightness as being more restful.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Sleep Tight

    Oxford say it's just a rare example of 'tightly' meaning 'soundly'. There are some who say that it refers to tightly wrapped bedclothes.

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    Talking Re: Sleep Tight

    In the Southern USA, we add "and don't let the bedbugs bite."

    As well as saying "tighter than Dick's hatband."

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Sleep Tight

    We add the 'bedbugs'in the UK, but I've never heard 'Dick's hatband'.

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    Talking Re: Sleep Tight

    "tighter than Dick's hatband" means that he's drunk.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Sleep Tight

    We're not short of expressions with that meaning, but I'll adopt this one.

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    Default Re: Sleep Tight

    Quote Originally Posted by TomBrooklyn
    From whence comes the expression 'Sleep Tight?'

    I realize it means to sleep well or sleep soundly, but how did the word 'tight' come to mean such a thing? I generally associate the opposite of tightness as being more restful.
    In the days when bed bases were made of a wooden frame with ropes criss- crossed between, over time the ropes would slacken and the bed therefore sag. Better made beds had a handle attachment so you could make the ropes 'tight' so the occupant could sleep better. Hence: sleep tight

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    Default Re: Sleep Tight

    Quote Originally Posted by TomBrooklyn
    From whence comes the expression 'Sleep Tight?'
    I realize it means to sleep well or sleep soundly, but how did the word 'tight' come to mean such a thing? I generally associate the opposite of tightness as being more restful.
    I think there are two possible sources for the expression 'sleep tight'. Both have there roots in children's poems. The first is 'Night, night, sleep tight, wake up in the morning light, to do what's right with all your might'. The second is more basic; 'Night, night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite'. I hope this helps.

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    Talking Re: Sleep Tight

    tdol, "Dick's hatband" is an old and I think largely obsolete one now. My dad used to say this..and maybe it was Southern... . I don't think it's very current, but I still like it a lot.

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    Default Re: Sleep Tight

    On the subject of `sleep tight´ I know the adage `and mind the bugs don`t bite´ so maybe tight might refer to the possibility that not covering oneself tightly would lead to being bitten...as the fleas drop from the ceiling

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