Get Out Of Dodge : Definition, Meaning And Origin

Last Updated on
June 14, 2023

The idiom "get out of dodge" typically refers to leaving a place quickly, especially to avoid trouble or an unpleasant situation. The phrase originates from the town of Dodge City in Kansas, which was famous for its wild west lawlessness in the late 19th century.

In short:

"Get out of Dodge" generally means to depart swiftly, often to evade an unfavorable circumstance.

What Does "Get Out of Dodge" Mean?

The phrase suggests a rapid departure from a place, usually due to imminent danger, discomfort, or an undesirable situation. For instance, you might "get out of Dodge" when you're in a tricky situation at work, avoiding confrontations, or simply needing a quick change of scenery.

Let's explore its core meanings:

  • It refers to departing quickly from a location to sidestep possible trouble or difficulty.
  • The "Dodge" implies the place you must promptly exit before circumstances worsen.
  • It signifies removing yourself from a problematic scenario by fleeing the area as fast as possible.

Where Does "Get Out of Dodge" Come From?

The term "get out of Dodge" is derived from the historic Dodge City, Kansas, known for its association with frontier lawlessness during the wild west era in the United States. The phrase's origin can be traced back to mid-20th century Western films and television shows, where characters often found themselves needing to hastily leave Dodge City to evade trouble.

Historical Example

"'Get out of Dodge' has become part of the American lexicon, its meaning as well understood in the largest metropolis as in its place of origin."

- Dodge City Queen of Cowtowns, Stanley Vestal, 1998

10 Examples of "Get Out of Dodge" in Sentences

Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:

  • When things started to heat up in the meeting, I decided it was time to get out of Dodge.
  • The moment the concert ended, we tried to get out of Dodge before the traffic jam began.
  • About last night, as soon as she saw her ex-boyfriend at the party, she knew she had to get out of Dodge.
  • I realized I had forgotten my project at home and decided to get out of Dodge before the teacher noticed.
  • When the weather forecast warned of a severe storm, it was time for us to get out of Dodge.
  • We decided to get out of Dodge and take a vacation when work got too stressful.
  • Kidding aside, I had to get out of Dodge quickly when I spotted my boss at the same restaurant.
  • All in all, the police advised everyone to get out of Dodge due to the impending hurricane.
  • After spotting a cockroach in my hotel room, I immediately decided to get out of Dodge.
  • I knew it was time to get out of Dodge before she spilled the tea about my failed start-up.

Examples of "Get Out of Dodge" in Pop Culture

The phrase "get out of Dodge" is fairly common in pop culture, often used in scenarios depicting a swift exit or a desire to avoid uncomfortable situations.

Let's examine some examples:

  • In the TV series "Supernatural"(2005-2020), Frank Devereaux tells Dean Winchester, "If I were you, I'd get out of Dodge, pronto.."
  • In the TV series "Castle" (2009–2016), Captain Victoria Gates tells Colin Clark, "Is that why you're so eager to get out of Dodge? Oh, honey, I'm gonna let you catch your flight. Hell, I'll even drive you to the airport..."

Other/Different Ways to Say "Get Out of Dodge"

There are various other expressions that convey a similar meaning to "get out of Dodge."

Here are some of them:

  • Make a swift exit
  • Bailout
  • Beat a hasty retreat
  • Flee the scene
  • Run for the hills

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Get Out of Dodge":

  • What does "get out of Dodge" mean?

"Get out of Dodge" typically signifies a quick departure, especially when avoiding trouble or discomfort.

  • How can I use "get out of Dodge" in a sentence?

You can use "get out of Dodge" when describing a swift exit from a place. For example, "As soon as the protest began, I decided it was time to get out of Dodge."

  • Where does the idiom "get out of Dodge" come from?

The phrase is derived from Dodge City, Kansas, known for its lawlessness during the wild west era. It gained popularity through its usage in mid-20th century Western films and television shows.

  • Is "get out of Dodge" a formal term?

No, "get out of Dodge" is an informal phrase, primarily used in a conversational context.

  • Does "get out of Dodge" suggest fear?

While it doesn't necessarily imply fear, it often conveys a sense of urgency or the desire to avoid an undesirable situation.

  • Can "get out of Dodge" be used humorously?

Yes, depending on context, the phrase can be used in a humorous or lighthearted way to describe a swift exit or departure.

  • Is "get out of Dodge" used globally?

While the phrase is predominantly used in the United States, it can be understood in other English-speaking countries, particularly through the influence of American media.

  • Is "get out of Dodge" an offensive term?

No, "get out of Dodge" is not considered offensive. However, like any phrase, it should be used appropriately considering the context and audience.

  • Can "get out of Dodge" be used in professional settings?

Given its colloquial nature, it may not be suitable for formal or professional writing but can be used in casual conversation in professional settings.

  • What are some synonyms for "get out of Dodge"?

Some synonyms for the phrase include "make a swift exit," "bail out," "beat a hasty retreat," "flee the scene," and "run for the hills."

Final Thoughts About "Get Out of Dodge"

The idiom "get out of Dodge" signifies a quick departure, often in response to avoiding trouble or an uncomfortable situation. It is a colloquial expression primarily used in conversational contexts.

Here's a quick recap:

  • The phrase typically denotes a swift exit, particularly to avoid unpleasant circumstances.
  • The idiom originates from Dodge City, Kansas, known for its wild-west history, and was popularized through Western media.
  • Although primarily an American expression, its usage has spread to other English-speaking parts of the world through the influence of American films and television.

Its usage in various scenarios – from tense situations to humorous circumstances – showcases the versatility of language and idiomatic expressions.

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