"run away, make off," 1840, earlier absquotilate (1837), "Facetious U.S. coinage" [Weekley], perhaps based on a mock-Latin negation of squat (v.) "to settle." Said to have been used on the London stage in in the lines of rough, bragging, comical American character "Nimrod Wildfire" in the play "The Kentuckian" as re-written by British author William B. Bernard, perhaps it was in James K. Paulding's American original, "The Lion of the West." Civil War slang established skedaddle in its place. Related: Absquatulated; absquatulating; absquatulation.
updated on August 11, 2018