twenty-three skidoo


twenty-three skidoo


  • to depart in a haste
  • to leave quickly or being forced to leave quickly
  • to get out while things are still good

Example Sentences

  1. The police threatened to imprison everyone in the crowd that did not 23 skidoo from the park.
  2. After hitting the motorcycle, the car driver stopped and he twenty-three skidoo toward the woods.
  3. Hey, Sally, it’s too hot today, let’s twenty-three skidoo for the beach.
  4. Man, I came here to watch these beautiful mountains, don’t twenty three skidoo so soon.
  5. The kids were plucking flowers from my garden when I shout at them, they just 23 skidoo.


[America]. The phrase has originated in American slang, which became popular at the beginning of the 20th century. It is a combination of two separate slang words which, were “23” and “skidoo”. To use both would refer to getting kicked out (of somewhere) or having to leave quickly and quietly. The origin is said to be from the year 1906. The word “Skidoo” was used for a person who brought bad luck and hence had to be kicked out at once.

Another story for the origin of the phrase comes from the Flatiron Building, which is shaped triangular and is located at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. The street is the 23rd one, and men would often gather there to watch women’s skirts get blown in the wind, exposing their knees, which was caused because of the shape of the building’s ventilation grate. They would be asked to move away immediately, and the expression 23 Skidoo came about. A Nickelodeon movie produced in 1906 – titled “What happened on Twenty-Third Street”.

Share your opinions4 Opinions

Article states that “23” and “skidoo” were individual slang terms but does not explain what 23 meant on its own. Anyone know?

‒ Tom January 1, 2023

Both are correct… nickel movie and nickel jukebox.

‒ Anonymous December 13, 2021

Gotled – a nickelodeon was an early version jukebox.

‒ Anonymous April 22, 2021

Very interesting. By the way, a nickelodeon (lower case) was an early type of indoor theater; Nickelodeon is a TV network created in 1977.

‒ gotled April 7, 2021

What's on your mind?