Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hot foot v.

also hot foot it, hot heel, hot hoof, hot pace

1. (orig. US) to rush around, to hurry, to run; also used adv. (see cit. 1836).

[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker I 207: He was a leggin it off hot foot.
[UK] ‘Handy Andy’ in Bentley’s Misc. Apr. 380: Dick’s hot-foot after him.
[Ire]S. Lover Handy Andy 31: Dick’s hot-foot after him.
[US]Calif. Police Gazette 27 Mar. 1/7: The writer was one who [...] was ‘hot foot’ after the runaways.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 14 Jan. 5/3: Another went off ‘hot-foot’ to the agents of a smart sea-going tug-boat and arranged for a chase.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 16–19: I did n’t expect to break in, but when the night come there was nothin’ else in sight so I hot-foots up to the dance.
[US]H. Green Maison De Shine 188: I’ll go tell this sport to hotfoot out of here.
E. Dyson ‘Two Battlers and a Bear’ in Lone Hand (Sydney) Sept. 553/2: ‘She’s done er guy [...] Got out ’ot-foot ez soon ez we left’.
[US]‘A-No. 1’ From Coast to Coast with Jack London 30: A city cop who at Utica hot-footed it after us.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper XL:5 330: One man managed to scramble up the parados and began to hot-pace it back to his own line.
[US]Black Mask Aug. III 61: I [...] saw Berry hot footing it back into the lower hall.
[US]E.S. Gardner Case of the Sulky Girl (1941) 48: I started hot-footing down the stairs.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 122: As soon as he’s in trouble he comes hotfooting it to me.
[US]W. Brown Run, Chico, Run (1959) 25: Why’d he hot-heel it out of there?
[US]C. Cooper Jr Syndicate (1998) 112: Pulco was hotfooting it out on the beach.
[WI]S. Naipaul Fireflies 191: The way you always hot-footing it somewhere.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 32: I hotfooted it outside and back to my car.
[US](con. 1949) G. Pelecanos Big Blowdown (1999) 152: Those men who just hotfooted it out of here, you think they might want to know about how their pal Matty was fixin’ the game?
[UK]Indep. Mag. 23 Oct. 7: She hot-hoofed her way through ‘Chicago’.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Little Sleazer & the Mail-Sex Mama’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 162: He hotfoots it back to Vitello’s.

2. to escape from.

[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 405: Flight. Escape – ditch out, blow, bolt, give police the raspberry, scoot, spring a man, hot foot.
[UK]Guardian Guide 5–12 June 71: He’s resurrected to round up 113 evil souls who have hotfooted it out of Hades.

3. to chase away.

[US]J. Lait ‘Omaha Slim’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 113: They’s a lot o’ smart suckers what kicks us an’ hotfoots us every time we stops to rest.

4. used adverbially, speedily.

[Ire]Cork Examiner 21 jan. 4/4: Dick’s hot-foot after him.