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Attested since the 1830s in American English, a jocular mock-Latin word.[1] Blend of abscond +‎ squat +‎ perambulate, as ab- (away (from)) (as in abscond) + squat + *-ulate (as in perambulate, properly -ate), hence meaning “get up (from a squat) and depart (quickly)”.[1][2] The middle portion was perhaps influenced by -le ((frequentative)) and the dialectal term squattle (depart); compare contemporary skedaddle.


  • IPA(key): /æb.ˈskwɑt͡ʃ.ʊ.leɪt/, /æbz.ˈkwɑt͡ʃ.ʊ.leɪt/, /æbz.ˈkwɑt͡ʃ.ə.leɪt/
  • (file)


absquatulate (third-person singular simple present absquatulates, present participle absquatulating, simple past and past participle absquatulated)

  1. (intransitive, slang) To leave quickly or in a hurry; to depart, flee. [from 19th c.][3]
    • 1840 January 9, “The President's Message, No. 2”, in Lincoln Telegraph, volume IV, number 41, Bath, Maine, page 3:
      Even within the past year, several Land Officers and keepers of public monies--the Collector of New Orleans and Plattsburg--the Post Masters of Mobile and Worcester have made serious and prominent additions to the long catalogue of absquatulating defaulters.
    • 1910, H. G. Wells, The history of Mr. Polly:
      " [] Now I see you again—I’m satisfied. I’m satisfied completely. See? I’m going to absquatulate, see? Hey Presto right away.”
      He turned to his tea for a moment, finished his cup noisily, stood up.
  2. (intransitive, slang) to abscond.


Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Michael Quinion (3 August 2002), “Absquatulate”, in World Wide Words.
  2. ^ New Orleans Weekly Picayune, December 1839
  3. ^ Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “absquatulate”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 9.

Further reading[edit]