tall timber n.
1. (US, also timber) the rural areas, the backwoods, lit. and fig.
|implied in take to the tall timber(s)|
|John Henry 20: Me! — off to the woods! Me! — to the tall timber till she wakes up!|
|Prison Gates Ajar 9: I went to the ‘timber’ (country) and ‘floated’ to Chicago.|
|(con. 1875) Early Days on the Western Slope of Colorado 91: It was miles to tall timber.|
|Enter the Saint 125: While he takes possession, disinters the loot, and slithers off in the general direction of the tall timber.|
2. (US) the gallows.
|Jarnegan (1928) 223: If she bumps off in my house it’s me for the tall timber without an axe.|
to run off.
|Atkinson’s Casket (PA) Aug. 371/1: Wait till Whiteside comes up with his battalion of spies, and the way that you’ll see them break for tall timber is a sin to Moses.|
|Streaks of Squatter Life 36: The editor of the Eagle was well aware, that after this outbreak he must ‘break for tall timber’.|
|Knickerbocker (N.Y.) XXVIII 311: I calculate [...] that he’ll put for tall timber one of these days and our folks’ll find they've been barking up the wrong tree.|
|Hist. Illinois 121: Upon hearing this, I followed the example of my companions in arms, and broke for tall timber, and the way I run was not a little.|
|Columbia Phoenix (SC) 20 Apr. 4/2: I’m jest breaking for tall timber. Good-by Lucy — I’m bound to quit, got to go.|
|Ford County Globe 10 Dec. in Why the West was Wild 367: They immediately ‘struck out for tall timber.’.|
|Texas Cow Boy (1950) 133: Jim Greathouse [...] gave his guards the slip and pulled for ‘tall timber’ up in the mountains.|
|Billy Baxter’s Letters 35: I took to the tall timbers.|
|John Henry 29: I’m hoping the conductor will come in and give us a tip to take to the timber because the cops are going to pinch the room.|
|Shorty McCabe 223: Don’t you try to sick any girls on me, or I’ll take to the tall timber.|
|How I Became a Detective 89: In making a quick getaway the ‘grafter’ will tell you he ‘tore to the tall timbers.’.|
|DN III:viii 571: break for tall timber, phr. To run away.‘Word-List From Western Indiana’ in|
|DA].Rangers and Sovereignty 128: The ‘bad men’ [...] began to strike for ‘tall timber’ [|
|Door of Dread 114: After bein’ pounded round by a couple o’ crooks yuh made for the tall timber without a sign of a come-back!|
|Wipers Times 20 Mar. (2006) 42/1: Buzzing Bill [...] shouts in stentorian terms ‘beat it for the tall timbers.’.|
|B.E.F. Times 15 Aug. (2006) 208/1: [It] tickled the Bosche to taking for the tall timbers off Pilkem Ridge.|
|Seventh Man 176: He’ll hit for the tall pines.|
|Plastic Age 102: [He] beats it for the tall timber.|
|(con. WWI) Gloss. Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: take to the tall timber. To abscond.|
|Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 20 Aug. 11/2: Eventually the model ‘S.M. Herald’ leader will read like this [...] Some one will go ’im scone ’ot and then it’ll be ’im for the tall timber.|
|Cowboy Lingo 221: A person ‘takin’ to the tall timbers’ was ‘pullin’ his freight for the tules.’.|
|Sudden Takes the Trail 127: Jim’s a good scout, but if he was after my ha’r, I’d take to the tall timber.|
|Ridge and River (1966) 190: What the hell would you do if a mob of Japanese attacked now? Hit for the tall timber in your skirt?|