I think what's going on here is that: wicking is one of those very confusing words that is used in two different - pretty much exactly opposite - ways.
Obviously a wick (as in a candle) is something that "sucks" liquid "through" it.
The whole point of say GoreText is that it wicks sweat through the GoreTex. Exactly as in Hellion's shirt example.
So, "wicking" in that context is a soft, 'absorbant'-like material that sucks up liquid and moves it away to the "other side."
I have also frequently heard wicking used to describe a surface -- particularly with "away" -- it "wicks away" water. Thus, a car windscreen with that "anti-water" or "anti-spotting" treatment on it will "wick away" the water. Meaning the water will slide off the windscreen really quickly and cleanly, it won't pool around or film.
Again this is, in a way, absolutely the opposite of the first meaning of wicking -- you'd think it would mean the windscreen wicks the water through the windscreen into the driver's area!
I suggest that "wicks away" or "wicks off" tends to mean a basically hard (perhaps shiny) surface that has microscopic properties that which causes the fluid to "quickly run off" the surface. (Thus for instance think of your kitchen counter - paper or wood is typically very bad at this, but with stainless steel, the water "wicks away" quickly.)
In contrast just "wick," in context, means "wick" as you would expect ("sucks the liquid through" like a candle wick or GoreTex).
(Incidentally, the "wicks away" property is hugely important in modern aircraft research, huge engineering efforts are made regarding surface micro-mechanics, for this effect, etc.)
To repeat, I believe that
wicks can mean what you would think, sucking-through a material, but also!
wicks, particularly 'wicks away' or 'wicks off' can mean that quality when the water quickly 'runs' off a (totally non-absorbant) surface.
I think that's the basic tension here!
Perhaps the second meaning is a bit of a corruption/confusion from "whisks away" "whips away" or the like -- weird. Or maybe it's just another way to look at "moving the fluid effectively."