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You have caused me to adopt skidaddle and huzzah, however.


Skidaddle (also skedaddle) — to leave in a hurry, scram, disappear — it's a word I like. I do it quite a lot.

'Skidaddle' first made print in 1861, in an edition of the New York Tribune reporting events of the American Civil War: 'No sooner did the traitors discover their approach than they skidaddled.' The following year it made its way across the pond, appearing in the Illustrated London News. By 1867 it was accepted in literary circles as Anthony Trollope had used it in his Last Chronicle of Barset.

But as with many relatively modern words, its origins are obscure. Greek, or Old English? John Holten, in the 1874 edition of Dictionary of Modern Slang, expounded it came from the Greek skedannumi. How did it make its way into common usage? A Harvard professor dropped it into conversation. The English Dialect Dictionary, on the other hand, prefers that it should come from Scottish or northern English: a derivative of skiddle, meaning to spill or scatter. Jonathan Green, in Cassell Dictionary of Slang, supports this theory. It relates to the imagery of broken, blood-spattered bodies strewn across a battlefield, the defeated army scattered.

Merriam-Webster suggests that skidaddle's origins lie in scaddle, meaning to run off in a fright, which came from Middle English scathel or skadylle which were in turn descended from the Old Norse skathi, meaning to harm.

Me? I like the skiddle parentage best. But I'll leave you to choose. I need to skidaddle and cook supper.




Scampering off with

  • http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-ske1.htm
  • http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/skedaddle
  • http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/skedaddle
  • http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=skidaddle

BQ07

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