show a clean pair of heels

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English[edit]

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Verb[edit]

show a clean pair of heels (third-person singular simple present shows a clean pair of heels, present participle showing a clean pair of heels, simple past and past participle showed a clean pair of heels)

  1. (idiomatic) to run away quickly; to make an escape quickly; to outpace
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, Richard Maxwell editor, A Tale of Two Cities[1], Book the Second, Penguin Classics, ISBN 9780141439600, published 2003, Chapter XXIV, page 249:
      ‘[...]No, gentlemen; he'll always show ’em a clean pair of heels very early in the scuffle, and sneak away.’
    • 1977, Brian Schofield, Gerald Jordan editor, Naval Warfare In The Twentieth Century 1900—1945[2], Taylor & Francis, ISBN 9780844810140, ‘Jacky’ Fisher, HMS Indomitable and the Dogger Bank Action: A Personal Memoir, page 66:
      The two German ships soon showed us and the battle-cruiser Indefatigable in company, a clean pair of heels, though the cruiser HMS Dublin managed to keep them in sight untilt hey disappeared into the Straits of Messina to coal.
    • 2005 April 2005, Bernard Brown, “The Sherlock Holmes of ‘G’ Division”, Ripper Notes, number 22, Inklings Press, page 33: 
      During the melee the suspect had run off, showing a clear pair of heels.