skip bail

Idioms & Phrases

skip bail

Also, jump bail. Fail to appear in court for trial and thereby give up the bail bond (paid to secure one's appearance). For example, I can't afford to skip bailI'd lose half a million, or We were sure he'd jump bail but he finally showed up. This idiom uses skip and jump in the sense of "evade". The first dates from about 1900, the variant from the mid-1800s. Also see make bail.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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