take a powder

(redirected from they have taken a powder)

take a powder

To leave a place very quickly and often discreetly. Sometimes used as an imperative. Realizing they would blame him for the error, Jim took a powder while everyone's attention was diverted. I recommend you take a powder before things start getting dangerous.
See also: powder, take
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

take a powder

Sl. to leave; to leave town. (Underworld.) Why don't you take a powder? Go on! Beat it! Willie took a powder and will lie low for a while.
See also: powder, take
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

take a powder

Make a speedy departure, run away, as in I looked around and he was gone-he'd taken a powder. This slangy idiom may be derived from the British dialect sense of powder as "a sudden hurry," a usage dating from about 1600. It may also allude to the explosive quality of gunpowder.
See also: powder, take
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

take a powder

AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you take a powder, you leave a place very quickly and usually secretly. I knew that even if they realized I'd taken a powder, they wouldn't go looking for me.
See also: powder, take
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

take a powder

depart quickly, especially in order to avoid a difficult situation. North American informal
2002 New York Times Why don't you take a powder, jerk, or how'd you like a knuckle sandwich?
See also: powder, take
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take a ˈpowder

(American English, informal) leave suddenly; run away: She hung about all morning getting in my way, so in the end I told her to take a powder.
See also: powder, take
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take a powder

tv. to leave; to leave town. (Underworld.) Bruno took a powder and will lie low for a while.
See also: powder, take
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

take a powder

To make a quick departure; run away.
See also: powder, take
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

take a powder, to

To leave quickly. The origin of this expression is obscure, even though it is relatively recent (twentieth century). Since about 1600 a powder has meant “a hurry,” possibly derived from the speed of gunpowder. “Ile sett you in with a powder,” that is, with a rush, appears in a play, Club Law (ca. 1600), by an unknown writer. This meaning persisted well into the nineteenth century, mainly in Britain. In the 1920s, however, in popular literature, characters departing in haste were said to take a runout powder. P. G. Wodehouse used it in Money in the Bank (1942), “And have him take a runout powder? Be yourself, lady.” One writer has suggested this might refer to a laxative, but that interpretation seems unlikely. Moreover, the French have a similar expression, Prendre la poudre d’escampette, “To take the scampering powder,” or, in more idiomatic terms, “to bolt.”
See also: take, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

Take a powder!

Scram! This tough-guy phrase came from the days when a ladies' bathroom was euphemistically called the powder room, the place where women went, among other reasons, to apply makeup. As gangster movies would have us believe, a lady's escort who wanted to discuss a matter in privacy with another gent told her to “take a powder.” Similarly, a genteel way to say you were going to the ladies' room was “I'm going to powder my nose.”
See also: take
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
See also:
Full browser ?