What Does the Term “23 Skidoo” Mean?

This phrase is one you might regularly hear in English conversation. But what does 23 skidoo mean and where do we find its origins? We will take a look at this phrase and how we can use it in our day to day conversations.

23 Skidoo Meaning

What Does 23 Skidoo Mean?

The meaning of the slang phrase 23 skidoo is simply to tell someone to ‘get lost‘ or to tell them to be on their way. It is not an overly offensive way to tell someone to move along and so is sometimes also used in an endearing sense.

Origin of 23 Skidoo

The term 23 skidoo has its roots in the early 20th century. It found its beginnings when homeless people would sleep on 23rd street and when police officers would come to move them along, they would hit them with their clubs and tell them to ’23 skidoo.’


You might use the term 23 skidoo, as we mentioned in a more endearing sense, perhaps jokingly with a loved one if they are playing a prank on you. You might also use it to lightly tell someone who is irritating you, to go away.

Conversation Examples

The ways you might use the term 23 skidoo in a conversation might look a little bit like these examples.

Example 1: 

  • Person 1:John was really trying my patience yesterday.
  • Person 2: What did you do about it?
  • Person 1: I told him to 23 skidoo.

Example 2: 

  • Person 1: Haha you lost the game, I won.
  • Person 2: Oh 23 skidoo, will you.

Other Ways to Say the Phrase

There are many ways to tell someone to 23 skidoo, some are more polite than others. Some examples of this might be;

23 Skidoo Meaning Infographic

23 Skidoo