skip out: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘skip out’ mean?

The idiom 'skip out' means to leave or exit a place or situation without permission or explanation.

Idiom Explorer

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The idiom "skip out" is a colloquial expression used in American English that originated in the early 20th century. It means to leave or depart abruptly, often with the intention of avoiding responsibility or obligation. "Skip out" is similar in meaning to other idioms such as "duck out," "strike the tent," and "go out." These idioms all convey a sense of quick and stealthy departure, with an emphasis on avoiding or evading something.

When someone "ducks out," they are leaving a situation or location in a swift and discreet manner. This can be used to describe avoiding an unpleasant or unwanted task or responsibility. Similarly, when someone "strikes the tent," they are swiftly packing up and leaving a place, often with the intention of escaping or getting away. This idiom can be used metaphorically to describe leaving a situation or relationship. Lastly, when someone "goes out," they are departing from a place or situation, often abruptly or unexpectedly. This can refer to physically leaving or mentally disengaging from a situation.

Returning to the idiom "skip out," it is commonly used in both literal and figurative senses. When used literally, it refers to physically leaving a location without fulfilling one's duties or obligations. This could involve skipping out on paying a bill, avoiding a meeting or appointment, or leaving a gathering prematurely. The idiom also carries a connotation of dishonesty, as it implies a deliberate evasion of responsibilities.

He decided to skip town and leave everything behind.

The figurative usage of "skip out" extends beyond physical departure and encompasses various forms of avoidance or evasion. It can be used to describe someone avoiding emotional or personal commitments, such as skipping out on a relationship or neglecting responsibilities in a family or social context. In a professional setting, the idiom can denote evading work or shirking one's responsibilities, particularly in a sneaky or underhanded manner.

Furthermore, "skip out" can also convey a sense of rebellion or defiance, suggesting a deliberate act of disregarding authority or rules. It implies a disregard for societal norms or expectations, as the individual chooses to depart or avoid a situation in defiance of expectations or obligations.

The idiom "skip out" is commonly used in informal spoken language, particularly in casual conversations or storytelling, rather than formal or written contexts. It is prevalent in American English and may not be as widely used or understood in other English-speaking regions.

The idiom "skip out" signifies a sudden or stealthy departure with the aim of evading responsibility, duty, or obligations. Its figurative usage encompasses various forms of avoidance and rebellion, highlighting a disregard for societal norms. This idiomatic expression encapsulates a sense of sneaky or underhanded behavior and is commonly used in informal spoken language within American English.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom *skip out* can be used in a sentence:

  • I promised my friend I would help him move, but I skipped out at the last minute.
  • The employee decided to skip out on work and go to the beach instead.
  • She was supposed to meet me for dinner, but she skipped out on our plans without any explanation.

More "Verb" idioms