One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1no object , usually in imperative Leave or go away from a place quickly.‘get out of here, you miserable wretches—scram!’
go away, depart, leave, take yourself off, take off, get out, get out of my sightView synonyms
- ‘He was starting to tell me when and where to meet him when you came skipping past and I told you to scram, remember that?’
- ‘He plans the crime, he breaks in, bypasses security and scrams with the paintings… only to have his van run out of petrol.’
- ‘If you don't want me to call the police you'd better scram.’
- ‘The man rolled his eyes, ‘All right, take it and scram, and don't tell anyone I let you off.’’
- ‘You guys have ten seconds to scram before I come after you with a sledge hammer!’
- ‘‘Now scram,’ slurred the voice with a mobster accent.’
- ‘I had to spend seven rupees on you - give my money back and get the hell out of my house - scram!’
- ‘Aurora would very much like to tell him to scram but she really did need his help.’
- ‘He just saved this girl and now she's telling him to scram?’
- ‘So we just hang out here and scram when a teacher comes by.’
- ‘Well, I advise you two to scram before you get hurt.’
- ‘He scrammed, and I watched him leave with relief.’
- ‘I nodded her away, praying that she'd take the hint and scram.’
- ‘He hollered, scram if our know what's good for you, and I ran fast.’
- ‘Connie, go tell those kids to scram, will you?’
- ‘They would have to scram before the government launched a campaign against them.’
- ‘They wanted five months' rent up front and promised just 60 days' notice in the event they wanted us to scram.’
- ‘His enlightened philosophy was either improve business or scram.’
- ‘I ordered him to scram, under the pretense of changing into warmer clothes.’
- ‘He climbed up the steps three at a time, gave a hasty good-bye to my dear relatives, told me he'd meet me at the hotel, and quickly scrammed.’
2with object Shut down (a nuclear reactor) in an emergency.
The emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor.‘the power plant was cited for its high rate of scrams over the past year’
- ‘Both the number of safety-system activations and scrams are about one tenth of what they were in 1985.’
Early 20th century: probably from the verb scramble.
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