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John takes a gun. Immediately, David and Adan skedaddle from the place.

John takes a gun. Immediately, David and Adan skedaddle.

John takes a gun. Immediately, David and Adan skedaddle from that place.

I never used this word before. I want to keep the sentence short as the second one, but I'm not sure whether that sentence is valid.

  • 3
    Who are these people and in what year are they fleeing? – StoneyB May 26 '13 at 23:29
  • @StoneyB These people are in the current young generation. – T2E May 26 '13 at 23:36
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    I think it unlikely that skedaddle would be properly used in that context. It's never been formal English, and as far as I know it vanished from contemporary slang in the 50s. – StoneyB May 26 '13 at 23:57
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    @StoneyB: It's "dated", sure. As are alternatives like legged it, scrammed, scarpered, high-tailed it, vamoosed. But there are probably still some people who use them "naturally", and lots of people will use them "facetiously, self-consciously". I bet sometime in the last decade I've said or heard "We lit outta there!" or similar, but so far as I know people haven't lit anywhere for real since Huckleberry Finn lit out for the territory. – FumbleFingers May 27 '13 at 1:40
  • @FumbleFingers Google Ngrams says lit out peaked in the 1940s. But folks was writing a lotta Westerns in them days. – StoneyB May 27 '13 at 2:03
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Your second sentence is fine. In fact I'd say it's the best of the three. It's implicit that they're from their current location.

However I'd consider carefully whether you actually want to use the word. It's very informal, bordering on slang, and is rarely used in written English.

  • 1
    +1 It's not only informal, it's dated; it was mostly replaced by scram in the 1930s; in the 50s and 60s we regarded it as peculiar to Westerns and rural comedies, and used it only jocularly and ironically. The equivalent term in my generation was haul ass; I don't know what it is now. – StoneyB May 26 '13 at 23:28
  • @Nigel Harper So what is better word used by the current generation? flee? – T2E May 26 '13 at 23:38
  • @StoneyB So what is better word used by the current generation? flee? – T2E May 26 '13 at 23:38
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    @T2E That sentence is fine. A subject and a verb together make a simple but complete sentence. Such sentences are quite rarely seen but sometimes that's all you need. – Nigel Harper May 27 '13 at 14:38
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    "got out of there", "got themselves out of there", "left posthaste", "disappeared", "scrambled for the exits", "scampered away", "bounced", "vanished from the room". Still, I'm not sure if I would recount this story in the present tense, to me 'they skedaddled' is much more common than "they skedaddle". – Xantix May 28 '13 at 19:56

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