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Little Tich Tychicus

Updated on October 24, 2015
Little Titch, 1893
Little Titch, 1893 | Source

Why "Little Titch?"

We sometimes say, "Oh, I'm just a Little Titch' in the overall scheme of things." Or we call our child a 'little titch' as a term of endearment. There's even an adjective that derives from the phrase: titchy, meaning very small.

Why do we say that? It stems from an English music hall comedian and dancer, Harry Relph, who was only four feet, six inches tall and was a popular entertainer long ago. He gained the nickname as he looked a little like a man who tried to claim the valuable Tichborn Estate for himself.


There was another man about nineteen hundred years before, who got himself into the Biblical records. Compared with Jesus' Twelve Apostles, he was small and insignificant, but in the end he made quite a contribution to the work of St. Paul and the spread of the Gospel. His name was Tychicus, which is sometimes said to mean 'encourager,' while other sources give it as 'chance.' The latter may be more correct, but God does not leave things to chance and Tychicus was a great help and encourager for Paul.

Have you ever heard of him? Was he famous?

Well, I've never heard of any beautiful stained glass windows being erected in his honour, I don't think he was ever made a Saint, but he was there in his own small way and ended up being very useful to Paul. In fact, he is mentioned five times in the New Testament.

Church Window
Church Window | Source

No Headlines for Tychicus

Tychicus was small and not very important; nothing he ever said was recorded; he didn't hit the headlines. However, we do learn that he was Asian, he was a leader of the Christian church in Asia, and he was willing to minister and he served Paul and the brethren in whatever way was needed. He made himself available; he was committed and he maintained that commitment.

First Mention of Tychicus

The first time we meet Tychicus is in Dr. Luke's account of The Acts of the Apostles (20.4), when Paul was on what we call his Third Missionary Journey. Paul and his diverse group of fellow-travellers had spent the past three months in Corinth. These fellow-travellers were representatives of the churches he had founded in different places, including Berea, Thessalonica, Philippi and what we usually refer to as Asia Minor.

Paul had collected money to aid the poor Christians in Jerusalem and wanted to sail to Syria on the way there. He sent the two Asian leaders, Tychicus and Trophimus on ahead, probably so they could arrange the voyage from Troas. They probably knew the place and the language, and could find somewhere near the port for them to stay as they waited for a ship.

In this way, Tychicus helped to make travelling easier and safer for Paul and the rest of the group as they carried their precious aid and tried to avoid robbers on the way. It took Paul and the rest of the group five days to join them and then they needed to wait a week for a ship going to Syria.

The Second Mention of Tychicus

The other times we find Tychicus mentioned were in Paul's letters.

The second time we meet him is at the close of Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. He wrote the letter while he was imprisoned in Rome for the first time.

Near the end of his Letter (Ephesians 6.21-22) he told the Christians in Ephesus that he was sending it with Tychicus so that he would be able to tell them how he fared in prison and how his appeal to the emperor for his release was going.

This was an important mission, as it was a circular letter that had been copied and Tychicus was to see that copies reached churches in Asia, Laodicea and Colosse. Paul added this recommendation of Tychicus:

'He is a dear brother and faithful minister in the Lord. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, to let you know how we are, and to encourage your hearts.'

Paul's Third Mention of Tychicus

Again, Paul referred to Tychicus, this time near the end of his Letter to the Colossians (4. 7-8). He wrote in a similar vein: 'Tychicus will tell you all the news about me: he is a beloved brother, a faithful minister, and a fellow servant of the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts.'

Tychicus was a great ambassador for Paul and for Christ, often travelling for some days to deliver the letters, and to be an encouragement to other Christians.

Paul's Fourth Mention of Tychicus

It must have been quite soon after this that Paul wrote his second Letter to Timothy. In it (4.11-12) he told Timothy that 'Only Luke is with me,' so all the others may have been sent off on other errands. He asked Timothy to 'Get Mark and bring him with you,' adding, 'I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.'

Paul's Fifth and Last Mention of Tychicus

The final time we find Paul mentioning Tychicus, was in his Letter to Titus, who was in Crete. This time Paul was not in prison. In his final messages to Titus, he wrote: 'When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter here.'

Nicopolis was a port city on the west coast of the Greek peninsula, the best part of two hundred miles from Athens.

As well as being a faithful envoy for Paul, Tychicus must have been fit with all that walking and travelling in ships, especially in winter when the sea could be quite rough.

Not So Titchy Tychicus

Well, I've found that although Tychicus did not leave any writing or make any headlines in the news, our Asian man loved the Lord and showed it in his actions, rather than his words.

He was a beloved leader and faithful minister, willing to help in any way he could. Yet he remained humble and did not seek the limelight for himself, but did his best to help Paul to share the Good News with others. He is a great example for us, even today.

In fact, our Tychicus was not so titchy at all!

Gift from Rolf de la Motte
Gift from Rolf de la Motte | Source


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    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you so much, Peggy W. It was fun writing about them and I love your comments.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I can tell from most of the other comments that Little Titch was new to them as it was to me. I like how you intertwined information about Harry Relph and morphed it into writing about the biblical figure Tychicus. Very interesting!

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Nell Rose: Oh, that's great. Thank you for your comments and for sharing, too.

      Jackie Lynnley: You shared it, too! thank you. I'm so glad that you enjoyed reading it and I enjoyed reading your comments. I'm sure his faithfulness was worthy of the mentions that he received.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from the beautiful south

      Such a very interesting lesson that I had no knowledge of; so thank you. I could not help but think all the way through of the promise of the least being maybe his reward is worthy of his lack of infamy.


    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      Well who would have guessed? amazing stuff! my used to call me titch, now I know why! how interesting, voted and shared! nell

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Mel Carriere: A tiny spark, but see how it grows! Lovely analogy. Thank you!

      Jonah: Hi, fellow Aussie! It is interesting how we use phrases without really knowing where they come from, isn't it? Good to hear from you.

      pstraubie48: There are so many 'little' people that we just skim over, they're part of the action, but seem so insignificant, only they're not really. Blessings to you, too.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from North Central Florida

      This is so very interesting Blossom. I have heard of Tychicus but never knew him, you know. You have shed much on this most interesting and no doubt important Biblical figure. Little Tich, on the other hand, is totally new to me

      Thanks for sharing

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for sharing this Blossom. I couldn't recall having read of Tychicus in the Bible, or heard of "Little Titch" the music hall comedian. We do use the saying eg."He's being a little titchy," to mean a little disagreeable or easily upset." Very interesting.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado

      I love learning obscure facts about the Bible. Certainly Tychicus was an essential spark in igniting the flame of Christianity. Definitely deserves sainthood. Wonderful hub.

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      annart: Oh, thank you! So many people have written that they've never heard the saying, but it was commonplace here when we were children - and when we had our own children, too. I suppose it was a while ago.

      FlourishAnyway: Yes, it's the quiet, seemingly 'little' people who get things done - and how we appreciate its contrast with some things that really grate on our sensitivities.

      aviannovice: Thank you for reading and for your comment. I'm glad you've 'met' him now.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was a wonderful lesson for me, as I never heard of Tychicus, until now.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      I have never heard of the expression but enjoyed the tales. It's important for us to remember in these days of loud bluster (a la Donald Trump and others) that there are other ways of being important.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 years ago from SW England

      Yes, a little titch is quite common where I come from (the South of England), as well as 'titchy'.

      What a fascinating story this is! Little in fame but great in heart and soul, one could say. This is a refreshingly different hub and was a pleasure to read this afternoon - on an amazingly warm, sunny, blue-skied day for the last day of October!


    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Frank Atanacio: I would never cast aspersions on your understanding, I've always found you a great hubber. I'm so glad that you enjoyed Tychicus.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      thank you blossoms for sharing something new to me... you really broke this hub down for even someone like me to understand Little Tich Tychicus

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Larry Rankin: Probably our parents used it for us when we were children, so we used it for our children, so it goes on. Then we wonder where it came from.

      MarleneB: No, if we do remember it, it's just a name among many that may sound slightly familiar. In the scheme of things, he's just 'small fry', but his contribution was humble commitment to the cause and a great example - for me, anyway.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      5 years ago from USA

      Well, I guess I am too "young" to have heard that expression before now. What I am really intrigued about is your coverage of Tychicus. I don't remember reading his name before now, but as I read through the passages mentioned in your hub, his name stands out prominently.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma

      I wasn't familiar with this saying. Very informative.

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      CrisSp: That Korean pastor's story sounds very interesting. Some people may seem small and unimportant, but when they put their lives in God's hands it's amazing what can be achieved. God bless you.

      mckbirdbks: Yes, it's usually intended as a loving compliment.

      MsDora: It's surprising, isn't it? No matter how often we read it, there's always something new that can speak to our hearts.

      Reynold Jay: Thank you for your compliment on my article.

      Faith Reaper: There is so much that we can learn. I'm glad you enjoyed my photos, too. God bless you, my hub-friend!

      manatita44: Yes, we don't hear much about him, but he was so devoted and served well - and was much-loved. Thank you for your comments, too.

      Ericdierker: Small is beautiful. So many who may be small in stature have big hearts. My husband was not tall, but we always said to him that big things come in small parcels. Hugs to your loved ones from me, too!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bravo my beautiful lady,

      Wonderful and good in the best sense. At first I was resentful of this word some poor slobs would call my diminutive wife and son. Now I can hardly wait to hug them and tell them of the real Tich. Thank you.

    • manatita44 profile image


      5 years ago from london

      I like the closeness and obvious devotional tenderness between Paul and Tichycus. It seems that he was accomplished also, but chose to serve Paul instead. What a great man!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      This is such an enjoyable and interesting read here. I learned a lot. I've never heard of that saying before either.

      I do believe we can all learn from Tychicus's actions and his heart.

      Your photos are always beautiful.

      Peace and blessings

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Nope--I never heard of it either!! I don't around much. It doesn't matter as now I NOW know more about the world around me. Well done article Bronwen.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Blossom, thanks for this lesson on Tychicus. No matter how much or how long one reads the Bible, there seems to be always something new to learn. This is precious and I enjoyed it. Thank you!

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      I have not heard of the expression, 'little titch' but it sounds like a big compliment. Very interesting.

    • CrisSp profile image


      5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Interesting and very educational. Never heard of Little Titch before but he reminded me of a Korean pastor who has dedicated his life to saving unwanted newborns for his love and loyalty to God - true story. I've read about it in one of the Asian Magazines (If forgot which one) during my last trip to the Philippines. There's also a documentary about it, which I believed was only released early this year.

      Good read today. Thank you.

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      billybuc: Oh, perhaps it's a rather dated expression now, as I'm rather ancient, but it used to be quite common. Thank you for reading.

      AliciaC: He was so loyal - that's a great word to express it and probably one we don't use much these days, except in football and 'loyalty programs'!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a lovely story of a loyal man. I love the photo of the stained glass windows, too. I had never heard of Little Titch before I read this hub. Thank you for sharing the interesting information.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oddly I have never heard that expression, but it was interesting learning how it originated. Thank you for a little education on this Saturday morning.


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