I recently made this personal discovery of the word truancy. It means:

the action of staying away from school without good reason

I am wondering if there's a parallel to this word for workplace or professional settings.

All I can think of is absenteeism, but it doesn't capture the essence of truancy.

  • thefreedictionary.com/truancy
    – Kris
    Oct 24, 2013 at 7:41
  • 1
    You can just use truancy. It means being absent without permission, nothing to do with school. School is just the most common setting for the word.
    – Dan Hanly
    Oct 24, 2013 at 7:45
  • 'Skiving' would be the word I use. Although my understanding is that it is almost exclusively a British term. e.g. 'He's skiving off work today.' 'He's such a skiver.'
    – Jascol
    Apr 11, 2016 at 15:18

3 Answers 3


absenteeism actually is the word you're looking for.


: the act of staying away from work without a good reason.


: the act of staying away from work without permission or prior notice.

Sweetwater Reporter

Alternately, you might consider

cutting work


: to fail to attend purposely: cut a class.


cut class and cut school

: to skip a school class or a day of school without an excuse. As a joke, one day all the students cut their math class and went to lunch. Jane was grounded after she cut school last Friday.

(McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs)

skipping work


: to fail to attend or participate in skip the tournament


Half of MPS students regularly skip school, report shows

Journal Sentinel

ditching work


: Slang to skip (class or school)


tv. & in. to skip or evade someone or something. Pete ditched class today.

(McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions)

Truancy can be described as any unauthorized absence from school, cutting school, skipping school, ditching school, etc.

Red Bluff Police Department

Even the President is ditching work to see Star Wars


The military term AWOL (Absent without leave) is recognized in non-military context.


Playing hooky is a common phrase used in the US, primarily, but not exclusively, relating to school

(informal (mainly US & Canadian & New Zealand) truancy, usually from school (esp in the phrase play hooky)

This is frequently used to describe absence in the workplace, and it has a naughty, childish connotation.

When the unauthorized absence is organized among several workers, it may be called a sick-out. Among uniformed services, such as police or firefighters, it is sometimes called the blue flu.

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