like a scalded cat

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like a scalded cat

BRITISH
If a person or animal moves like a scalded cat, they move very fast, as though they have been suddenly frightened. Sure enough, within minutes of the train pulling out, Brown was out of that seat like a scalded cat. The Derby winner of that year set off like a scalded cat, and was never caught.
See also: cat, like

like a scalded cat

at a very fast speed.
1997 T3 If you're in a desperate hurry you can bury the accelerator…and take off like a scalded cat.
See also: cat, like