Take a powder

Posted by Bruce Kahl on April 22, 2000

In Reply to: Take a powder posted by Bill McMenamin on April 21, 2000

: I've heard this phrase used to mean 'leave quickly' or 'get out of here right away'. Can anyone come up with more about its derivation and usage?

The "powder" in question is "run-out powder," a powerful laxative or purgative. To tell someone to "take a powder" was to order them to "get lost" in very strong terms.