get out of dodge


get out of dodge,
also, get the hell out of dodge


  • to leave.
  • to depart from a place with urgency.
  • escape from a possibly dangerous or difficult environment with all possible haste.
  • to vacate the town in a hurry.

Example Sentences

  1. When I saw the big dog stalking toward me, growling and slobbering, I knew it was time to get out of dodge.
  2. Work had been slow for months, and they had been sending everyone home early, so Kate thought it might be time to get out of Dodge and find a new job.
  3. The bouncer at the club eyed the two men menacingly, telling them to get out of Dodge or suffer the consequences.
  4. The boy whispered to his friend, “Do you think they saw us shoplifting?”, and his friend responded, “No, but we better get the hell out of Dodge before we get caught.”
  5. The school bully told me if I didn’t get-out-of-dodge, he was going to beat me up and take my lunch money.


In the late 19th century, Dodge City, Kansas, was a bustling cattle town. Known as “a wicked little town” due to its proximity to the wild frontier, it was a popular watering hole for cowboys and buffalo hunters looking for rest and relaxation. Often, these pastimes were rowdy and dangerous, taking place in saloons, brothels, and gambling dens, with occasional shootouts. Law and order was famously maintained by lawmen Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson, as well as their brothers. By the early 1900s, settlers had moved in, and Dodge City had become much more respectable. 

In the 1950s, the reputation of Dodge City was further enhanced to its legendary status (often portrayed in cliched cowboy and western films) when a radio series called Gunsmoke went on the air. The setting was Dodge City in the 1890s, and it ran from 1952 to 1961. When it made the transition to television, it ran until 1975, totaling 20 seasons, and maintained excellent ratings throughout its run. The serial was centred around a fictional lawman named Marshall Dillon, who was known for exhorting lawbreakers to leave town, or get out of Dodge. This is the most likely and inspired source of the idiom “getting out of Dodge.”

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