Green’s Dictionary of Slang

dust v.2

[all reflect an image of the dust raised by one’s speedy movement]

1. (orig. US, also dust along, ...it on, ...off, ...out) to rush off, to leave fast.

[UK]H. Vaughan Silex Scintillans I in Rules and Lessons (1858) 75: Seek not the same steps with the crowd; / Stick thou To thy sure trot [...] Let folly dust it on, or lag behind .
[US]J.W. Haley Rebel Yell and The Yankee Hurrah (1985) 118: After dinner we were ordered to ‘dust out of this’ and we moved down the road about four miles.
B.F. Taylor World on Wheels II vii 249: As you dust along the turnpike, you can see [the road].
[US]C.F. Lummis letter 28 Jan. in Byrkit Letters from the Southwest (1989) 266: He suddenly turned [...] and dusted back to Yucca.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 236: You’re a going to dust out right away, you say?
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Apr. 3/2: He slipped the peelers diligent, / He laughed the ‘D’s’ to scorn, / He dusted off the continent / And left the bank to mourn.
[US]C.E. Mulford Bar-20 viii: ‘Guess I’ll make ’em dust along,’ he added, shooting into the spot. A howl went up and two men ran away at top speed.
[UK] press cutting in J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 120/2: I quickly got inside, locked the door, and dusted out the back way.
[US]E. Pound letter 1 Dec. in Paige (1971) 67: Well, I must dust out of this. Keep on moving, remember that poetry is more important than verse free or otherwise.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 403: Dust out – to flee.
[US]R.E. Howard ‘Texas Fists’ Fight Stories May [Internet] It’s gettin’ about time for us to start dustin’ the trail for the Bueno Oro.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 27: They dusted out when I was sent up t’ the pen.
[US]A. Hynd We Are the Public Enemies 18: Dillinger, realizing that he was white hot, after only three jobs, dusted to Dayton.
[US]A. Anderson ‘A Sound of Screaming’ in Lover Man 46: He grabbed up the loot and dusted So fast Jesse Owens would be disgusted.
[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 95: ‘I’m going to be dusting,’ I said, getting to my feet.
‘Troy Conway’ Cunning Linguist (1973) 89: ‘Come on now, dust! Just in case the three beards change their plans and come back sooner than you expected them to’.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Sept. 3: dust – leave abruptly with no explanation.
[Can]W. Denton Twists, Slugs and Roscoes [Internet] Why get in a car when you can hop in a boiler? Why tell someone to shut up when you can tell them to close their head? Why threaten to discharge a firearm when you can say, ‘Dust, pal, or I pump lead!’.
[US]E. Weiner Drop Dead, My Lovely (2005) 3: The gals dusted and I took stock.
[UK]BBC News ‘Report on Teenage Slang’ 11 Mar. [radio] She was proper vexed and dust out [...] She got really angry and stormed off.

2. (US) to overtake, to pass on the road.

[US]M.D. Landon Eli Perkins 119: I’ve got a span of fast mares in New York that can ‘dust’ anything you see here.
[US]‘Randy Everhard’ Tattoo of a Naked Lady 97: I poured it on, dusting the pigfucker. Soon his headlights were only pinpoints in the rearview.
[US]G. Pelecanos Way Home (2009) 21: ‘You dusted ’em’ [...] ‘They don’t live here, man. they don’t know these streets’.

3. (US, also dust off) to get rid of, to jilt.

[US]C. Himes ‘Prison Mass’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 162: When he fell for ‘Chicken’ Gorman [...] he had dusted little Mae like lightning dusting a church steeple.
[US](con. 1945) G. Forbes Goodbye to Some (1963) 112: About three months ago he got dusted off.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 2: dust – get rid of someone.

4. to pursue.

[US]W. Hopson ‘The Ice Man Came’ in Thrilling Detective Winter [Internet] It had been getting monotonous, having the johns dust after us every time we pulled out of a town and there were a couple of busted sardine cans left behind.

In phrases

dust one’s broom (v.) (also dust one’s bed, ... one’s blues)

(US black) to leave.

Big Joe Williams ‘Providence Help the Poor People’ [lyrics] Well, well, may be tomorrow, oh lord, I might dust my bed and go.
[US]Robert Johnson [song title] I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom.
[US]L. Hughes Laughing to Keep from Crying 62: ‘Let’s get on down this road, boy.’ [...] ‘Dust my broom, pal.’.
[US]Elmore James ‘Dust My Blues’ [lyrics] I’, gonn a get up in the mornin’ I believe I’ll dust my blues.
[US]Hughes & Bontemps Book of Negro Folklore 483: dust your broom : To go away, to leave town. She dusted her broom on a Greyhound bus.
get up and dust (v.)

(US) to act energetically; to run off quickly.

[US]Jackson Col.’s Diary (1922) 98: As it had been a long time since our boys had ‘been in town before’ they just made things ‘get up and dust.’ [DARE].
[UK]Farmer Americanisms 219: To get up and dust, To move about quickly. [Ibid.] 265: To git up and dust, i.e., to use the utmost expedition in departing.
[US]H.A. Shands Speech in Mississippi 32: Get up and dust [...] An expression, used mainly by negroes, meaning to leave in a great hurry, to go away swiftly. This expression occurs also in Kentucky and Tennessee.
[US] DN IV 392: Get up and dust... Be energetic... ‘If you get a living here, you have to get up and dust.’.