Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hoof v.

also hoof it
[hoof n.]

1. (also huff it) to walk, to go on foot.

[[UK]Dekker Belman of London B4: They liue upon the scraps of other mens inuentions [...] trauell upon the hard hoofe, from village to village for cheese and butter-milk].
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Hoof it [...] to walk on foot.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
R. Cumberland Fashionable Lover Prologue i: I am a devil, so please you, and must hoof / Up to the poet yonder with this proof .
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: He hoofed it [...] every step of the way from Chester to London.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue [as cit. 1785].
[UK] ‘Those London Mots’ Bang-Up Songster 39: But after all it’s hard I say, / To have to hoof it night and day.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 111: Hoof it, to walk.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 353: The prad will be bow-wow’s meat if he has to hoof it much further.
Winchester Army Bull. (TN) 12 July 4/1: Let him ‘hoof it’ on the dusty pike [...] His feet with blisters covered.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Innocents at Home 486: Few of them can carry their royal splendors far enough to ride in carriages, however; they sport the economical Kanaka horse or ‘hoof it’ with the plebeians.
[US]E. Custer Tenting on the Plains rev. (1895) 230: Hullo, there! joined the doe-boys, eh? How do you like hoofing it?
[UK]Sporting Times 1 Feb. 3/2: My next thought was as to the means of locomotion, for I wasn’t such a bally juggins as to think of hoofing it.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 13 Sept. 2/4: ‘Now, butcher, I want some meat, and give it to me good [...] don’t give me the neck.’ [...] ‘Mind, Miss P., that he don’t give you the horns and hoofs’.
[US]‘Frederick Benton Williams’ (H.E. Hamblen) On Many Seas 291: It’s a mighty tough country, Jimmy, where white men hoof it and niggers ride.
[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 231: Keep hoofin’ along till you come to an alley.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 303: It was early dawn when Weeping Jesus hoofed it into camp.
[US]O. Johnson Varmint 37: Stick on this cap of mine and hoof it.
[UK]J. Masefield Everlasting Mercy 27: He done me, so I’ve had to hoove it.
[US]J. Lait ‘Charlie the Wolf’ Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 67: The rest o’ the dicks is sweatin’ in Central or hoofin’ around on cement pavements.
[Aus]R.L. Mackay diary 20 Feb. [Internet] [...] thus saving much trouble and a rotten tramp for some dozen poor beggars who would have had to ‘hoof it’.
[US]A. Baer Two & Three 6 Feb. [synd. col.] The lads who used to hoodf around in the wee, small hours of the morning are finding that the wee, small hours are wee-er and smaller than ever.
[UK]Wodehouse Inimitable Jeeves 162: He started in about the female the moment we had begun to hoof it.
[US]O. Strange Law O’ The Lariat 208: Snap’s hoss bruk a leg on the way from Desert Edge, an’ he had to hoof it.
[US]D. Runyon ‘The Lemon Drop Kid’ Runyon on Broadway (1954) 379: The Lemon Drop Kid hoofs and hitch-hikes [...] a hundred and fifty miles.
[UK]J. Worby Spiv’s Progress 9: Only about thirty miles, and hoofed most of it .
[NZ]F. Sargeson ‘An Affair of the Heart’ Man and His Wife (1944) 37: As I was short of money at the time I was hoofing it.
[UK]C. MacInnes Absolute Beginners 216: I hoofed it along, and the streets were very quiet.
[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 311: We’re gonna have to hoof it.
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 19: Let’s hoof it up to the Gunnery Office.
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 145: And off Fred hoofed into the predawn night.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 163: When I finally looked up I had hoofed it to Seventy-ninth and Broadway.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 69: Sold the car [...] Now Betty hoofs it to work.
[UK]I. Rankin Let It Bleed 218: My guess is, he hoofed it back over the wall.
[US]Da Bomb [Internet] 15: Huffin (hoofin’) it: Walking. Do you want a ride? No, I think I’m huffin it.
[US]T. Dorsey Cadillac Beach 254: ‘We have to go now.’ Mahoney nodded. ‘Blow, hoof, dust, fade, breeze, slide, heel and toe, grab sidewalk, leave leather, drivin’ the shoe car . . .’.

2. to run.

[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 265: Don’t tarry, lads. Clear out as fast as you can hoof it.
[US]E. Caldwell Bastard (1963) 20: I feel the damn bugs beginning to crawl [...] When they got to biting in their stride I struck a match to the mattress and hoofed it downstairs.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Latin Blood’ in Speed Detective Aug. [Internet] Then I hoofed toward Wilshire.
[US](con. 1943–5) A. Murphy To Hell and Back (1950) 218: The litter bearers would hoof it through that area.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 73: We hoofed too.
[UK](con. 1960s) Guardian Weekend 2 Apr. 26: Hoofing it for my life across a sodden council estate.
[US]‘Harry Brandt’ Whites 4: The minute he sees the guns he jumps out and starts hoofing it back to Senegal.

3. to kick, also in fig. use.

[US](con. 1900) C.W. Willemse Behind The Green Lights 40: A sore head, a black eye or two or a little ‘hoofing around’ now and then.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 25 July 10: Robert Baggio hoofed a penalty over the bar.

4. (also hoofer) to dance.

[US]Wash. Herald (DC) 20 July 37: [cartoon caption] Grandpa Can Certainly ‘Hoof it’ Some.
[US]Eddie Cantor ‘Dixie Made Us Jazz Band Mad’ [lyrics] Even kids just two or three, / How they love a jazzy melody! / Keep a-hooferin’! Keep a-hooferin’!
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 282: Hoofing it in a good lively dance.
[US]J. Lait Broadway Melody 46: I’ll be pullin’ for you, but I can’t sing an’ hoof for you. Go to it, an’ ghoul ’em.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 247: I had sterner work before me than to stand hoofing it by myself on gravel drives.
[US]W. Winchell 28 June [synd. col.] Anohter musical, ‘Ship Ahoy’, has Eleanor Powell hoofing.
[UK]M. Panter-Downes ‘The Danger’ Wartime Stories (1999) 170: Their small, sharp faces solemn as they hoofed in almost perfect unison on the gravel.
[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential 142: A strange quirk in the municipal laws prohibits public dancing in this block, though stage entertainers, third rate, may hoof.
[US]A. Brooke Last Toke 8: We be hoofin’ in Florsheim, wheelin’ in hogs!
[Aus]R.G. Barrett White Shoes 30: Half a dozen youing girls [...] bumping and hoofing around [...] to the usual Madonna, Prince or whatever dance music.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 10 Feb. 22: Hoofing joyously with Kelly in Cole Porter’s ‘You’re Just Too, Too’.
[UK]Week 8 Jan. 25/2: A combination of vaudevillian hoofing with slapstick.

5. (US) to work hard.

[US]F. Paley Rumble on the Docks (1955) 242: We hoofed it today, kid! [...] I never worked so hard on a case.

6. (US campus) to hurry.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 6: hoof it – hurry.

7. to engage enthusiastically in something.

[UK]Guardian Weekend 3 July 53: I hoofed into some champagne.

In compounds

hoofball (n.)

(Aus.) Australian Rules Football.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 July 32/1: Not for many seasons has the struggle for the Victorian hoofball premiership been so keen and close.

In phrases

hoof out (v.)

1. to throw out, to expel.

[US]P. White West End 96: Brown ought to be ‘hoofed’ out of the team.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 12 Oct. 15/2: He was on my uncle’s station for some time, but got hoofed-out for trying to blackmail for dummying.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1977) 6: They’d hoof me out of the Club if I raised my voice beyond a whisper.
[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 191: They ’oofed ’im out o’ the canteen.
[Aus]Cusack & James Come in Spinner (1960) 271: The army took one look at his police record and hoofed him out on his ear.
[UK]B. Hare Urban Grimshaw 269: They nicked forty quid out o’ me draw’ so I hoofed ’em out.

2. to leave, to be dismissed.

[UK]S. Horler Lady with the Limp 149: I think it quite possible that the unworthy Captain Gummidge hoofed out, as you British say, from the Royal Navy.