from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To leave (a place) hastily (originally military).
  • v. to abandon someone without warning.
  • v. miss school, play truant, play hooky.
  • v. To cause to bulge
  • v. To crash or glitch
  • n. A rapid retreat, a rout.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. bulge outward


Attested 1950, popularized in the Korean War (1950–53) in such phrases as “bug-out fever” (rout) and “the big bug out” (November/December 1950 retreat) and entered civilian slang by mid 1950s. Likely originated in World War II, perhaps based on 1930s cartoons featuring bugs fleeing an impending foot or boot.[2] Ultimately based on the rapid, disorderly flight of bugs when discovered, particularly their scattering if several are discovered at once, such as under a rock or can. Compare chicken out. (Wiktionary)


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