Green’s Dictionary of Slang

twenty-three skidoo! excl.

also twenty-three! 23! 23 skidoo! twenty-three skiddoo! 23 skiddoo! twenty-four skiddoo!
[ety. unknown; however, note Irwin Confessions of a Con Man (1909) 83–5: ‘“Cloth” is an easy-money dice game. The operator has before him a sheet of green felt, marked off into figured squares eight to forty- eight. The player throws eight dice, and the dealer compares the sum of the spots he has thrown with the numbers on the cloth. Certain spaces are marked for prizes, five or six are marked “conditional,” and one, number twenty-three, is marked “lose.” The dealer keeps his stack of coins over the twenty-three space, so that it isn’t noticed until the time to show it. These spaces marked “conditional” are used in a great many gambling games, such as spindle; they’re the most useful thing in the world for leading the sucker on. For when he throws “conditional,” the dealer tells him that [...] he has only to double his bet, and on the next throw he will get four times the indicated prize, or if he throws a blank number, the equivalent of his money. He is kept throwing “conditionals” until his whole pile is down; and then made to throw twenty-three the space which he failed to notice, and which is marked “lose.” [...] I don’t need to say that “twenty-three,” as slang, comes from this game. The circus used it for years before it was ever heard on Broadway.’]

(US) go away! get out! also as v.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 84: 23 on that gravel scene.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 336: ‘Nope, I won’t!’ answered the Property Man, bitterly. ‘It’s twenty-three fur mine!’.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Skidoo! 112: 23.
[Guilelmensian (Williams Coll.) 253: Receipt for Skidoo pudding., Make a batter of 23 eggs and beat it].
[US]Wash. Post 11 Oct. 9: The members of the Thirteenth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry claim the credit for putting the ‘23 skidoo’ sign on the hoodoo generally supposed to follow the number ‘13.’.
[US]Eve. Statesman (Walla Walla, WA) 5 Mar. 3/2: He would no more say ‘skidoo’ when he wished an acquaintance to vanish than he would say ‘twenty-three!
[US]H. Green Mr. Jackson 11: There’s the man who claims to have ‘made twenty-three’ [...] Same as skiddoo, you know [...] if you were you were going to lam, or vamp, or blow, or beat it, why, you’d say ‘twenty-three.’.
H.G. Wells Tono-Bungay (2005) 153: We took over the agency for three or four good American lines [...] Texas Embrocation and ‘23 – to clear the system.’.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 101: ‘Skiddoo for you,’ Long retorted. ‘Twenty-three’s your number.’.
[US]F.S. Fitzgerald ‘Absolution’ in Bodley Head Scott Fitzgerald V (1963) 267: We yelled ‘Twenty-three, Skidoo,’ at her all afternoon.
[US]C. Ryan ‘From “Quoz” to “Razzberries”’ in AS II:2 92: That effective but horrible ‘23-skiddoo.’.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl. 49: skidoo. Beat it, depart, ‘23 for you.’.
Century Mag. (N.Y.) Aut. 66: A quarter of a century ago the expression ‘23 Skiddoo’ was on every one’s tongue. It was the equivalent of the more modern invitation to ‘take the air,’ and was generally used in speeding the unwelcome guest [DA].
[US](con. 1900s–10s) Dos Passos 42nd Parallel in USA (1966) 74: We want to take a look at this burg and then twenty-three.
[US]Mencken Amer. Lang. (4th edn) 561: Dorgan, who died in 1929, was the begetter of apple-sauce, twenty- three skiddoo, ball-and-chain (for wife), cake-eater, dumb Dora, dumbbell (for stupid person), nobody home, and you said it.
Houston Post 14 June 2/3: When she swished past this leering beast in human form would boldly accost her with such brilliant greetings as ‘Oh, you kid!’ or ‘Twenty-three skiddoo’ [DA].
[US]J.H. Burns Lucifer with a Book 78: By Gum, By Jeeper, and Twenty-three Skidoo.
[US](con. 1910s) ‘Harry Grey’ Hoods (1953) 15: Twenty-three skidoo, sheeny. Out of the park, you goddam mocky.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 2 Sept. [synd. col.] ‘RanKKKin Defeated 1st Time in 32 Years’ . . . (32 skkkidoo).
[US]Mad mag. Oct. 4: A handsome brunette [...] 36-22-34 ... 23 ... skiddoo!
[US]Mad mag. Dec. 47: 23 skidoo, small change.
[US](con. c.1900) J. Thompson King Blood (1989) 205: ‘Twenty-three skidoo, Marshall Harry,’ he said pertly.
[US]H. Selby Jr Demon (1979) 42: With a razzmatazz and a twenty-three skiddoo.
[US]Gettysburg (PA) Times 1 June 9/4: You can quickly date yourself by use of slang. If you say ‘twenty-three skiddoo,’ you are not in an ‘in’ group in the 1980s.
[Can]M. Atwood Cat’s Eye (1989) 140: We chant [...] Lady show your shoes, show your shoe, show your shoe, / Lady, lady, twenty-four skiddoo!
[US]J. Lansdale Leather Maiden 52: ‘Hopped up [...] People still say that?’ ‘I do,’ said Dad. ‘How about twenty-three skidoo?’.