take French leave

(redirected from taken French leave)

take French leave

1. To depart or absent oneself from some place or event without ceremony, permission, or announcement. The official story is that he's sick, but I think he's just taking French leave. As the evening wore on, we decided to take French leave and make our way home.
2. In the military, to desert one's unit. The sergeant is facing a court martial after it was discovered that he'd taken French leave just before the deadly operation.
See also: french, leave, take

take French leave

make an unannounced or unauthorized departure.
This expression stems from the custom prevalent in 18th-century France of leaving a reception or entertainment without saying goodbye to your host or hostess.
See also: french, leave, take

take French ˈleave

(British English, old-fashioned or humorous) leave your work, duty, etc. without permission; go away without telling anyone: I think I might take French leave this afternoon and go to the cinema.This idiom is said to refer to the eighteenth-century French custom of leaving a dinner or party without saying goodbye to the host or hostess.
See also: french, leave, take
References in periodicals archive ?
The 38-year-old and her aunt tried to get tea in a cafe, but "all the waitresses had taken French leave and gone" she revealed.
BRITNEY Spears looks like she's taken French leave from pal Paris - for a date with a new hunk.