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On the lamb

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on March 20, 2010 at 08:16

In Reply to: On the lamb posted by Rod Tvrdy on March 20, 2010 at 07:49:

: I'd like to know where "on the lamb" came from. The current definition, to my understanding, is: eluding the police or authouities.

It's spelt "lam". The verb "lam", which is derived from Old Norse, originally meant "to beat, thrash". In the USA in the late 19th century (the first sighting in the OED is from 1886) it acquired the slang meaning "to beat it, run away". From here it was a short hop to "on the lam" meaning "on the run". (VSD)