late 14c., Hikke, a popular pet form of the masc. proper name Richard (compare Hod from Robert, Hodge from Roger). Meaning "awkward provincial person" was established by 1700 (see rube); earlier it was the characteristic name of a hosteler, hackneyman, etc. (late 14c.), perhaps via alliteration. The adjective is recorded by 1914.
A hick town is one where there is no place to go where you shouldn't be. [attributed to U.S. humorist Robert Quillen (1887-1948)]