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This is phrase that can be roughly translated to "it could be worse." It is derived from the idea that there are far worse things in this world than ticks (the pesky, tiny arachnid). One who sees the silver lining in a situation would "settle for ticks," in favor of a more terrible outcome.
-"Damnit! I can't believe we don't have floor seats."

-"Hey man, I'd settle for ticks, we could be up on the balcony, and then we wouldn't even be able to see the band."
by Bentat December 13, 2010