: to depart quickly
With the sheriff and his posse hot on their tails, the bank robbers knew they had better vamoose.
"He raised his handgun and tried to line Reilly down its sight, but there was too much commotion around the agent and Zahed couldn't get a clean shot. Time to vamoose. With his weapon still in his grip, he leapt behind the wheel of the van, slammed it into drive, and floored it." -- From Raymond Khoury's 2010 novel The Templar Salvation
Did You Know?
In the 1820s and '30s, the American Southwest was rough-and-tumble territory -- the true Wild West. English-speaking cowboys, Texas Rangers, and gold prospectors regularly rubbed elbows with Spanish-speaking vaqueros in the local saloons, and a certain amount of linguistic intermixing was inevitable. One Spanish term that caught on with English speakers was "vamos," which means "let's go." Cowpokes and dudes alike adopted the word, at first using a range of spellings and pronunciations that varied considerably in their proximity to the original Spanish form. But when the dust settled, the version most American English speakers were using was "vamoose."
Test Your Memory
What word completes this sentence from a recent Word of the Day piece: "A suspension without pay is __________ punishment for breaking the company's code of business ethics"? The answer is ...