I am thinking of an alternate way of saying

I [nip off] to the local store with my dog every day.

The alternative should include a replacement for the verb ‘nip off to’ and give the meaning of going somewhere discreetly.

  • "I scoot off to the local store every day, after lunch."
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 0:44
  • 1
    For my fellow confused Americans: apparently this sense of nip is only found in British English.
    – alphabet
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 2:02
  • 4
    To me, nip off is about speed - the discreetness arises because a short absence is less likely to be noticed.
    – Peter
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 2:03

4 Answers 4


I suggest "sneak off":

leave furtively and stealthily
synonyms: slip away, sneak away, sneak out, steal away

Example in use:

About two hours before our last Holiday Cocktail Party my husband snuck off to the store and came back with a big bag of craft supplies — comment on Toby’s Genius Way of Making Friends


In my experience it is somewhat rare for discretion to be explicitly included in expressions of the kind that you are looking for. Instead, any discretion is left as an implication by means of the casual, easygoing, and somewhat unplanned nuance of the phrases. Here are two options that might, nevertheless, meet your needs.

"Pop into" or "pop by" might meet your needs.

pop in/into (somewhere)
phrasal verb with pop verb
to visit briefly:
"Why don’t you pop in and see us this afternoon?"
If you pop into a place, you visit there briefly, usually for some purpose:
"All I have to do on the way home is pop into the drugstore."

"Drop by" or "drop in" is similar

drop by/in
phrasal verb with drop verb
to visit someone:
"I dropped in on George on my way home from school."
"Drop by and pick up that book sometime."

Although the above definition indicates "to visit someone", it is not strictly necessary that the target be a specific person. It can certainly be used in reference to a place, like a supermarket or a book store (as implied in the second example).


Nip off to expresses speed, not discreetness (other than the fact that you might want to move fast so as to go undetected):

nip verb1
III. Senses relating to snatching, seizing, or moving quickly.
III.9.a. intransitive. colloquial (chiefly British). To move rapidly or nimbly; to go quickly; to make a brief excursion. Usually with down, in, into, out, etc. Also (in extended use, esp. with in): to take rapid action.
1998   Hey our Antony, nip down to the offie and get us some ciggies.

If you need speed and discreetness, try slip off to:

slip verb1
I.i.2. To pass or go lightly or quietly; to move quickly and softly, without attracting notice; to glide or steal. Used with various adverbs and prepositions.
In some cases the prominent idea is that of escape; more usually it is that of quick, easy motion.
I.i.2.a. With away, off, out; from, out of.
1878   So I came down stairs without any noise and slipped out.

If you just need discreetness, how about slink off to?

slink verb
1.a. intransitive. Of persons or animals: To move, go, walk, etc. in a quiet, stealthy, or sneaking manner. Usually const. with prepositions and adverbs.
1879   He had to slink into Thessalonica incognito, and by night.

Source: Oxford English Dictionary (login required)


No exact replacement but you might consider

  • “step away to” [conveys very brief absence]
  • “peace out to” [conveys abandoning the current task utterly]
  • “slip away to” [conveys unobtrusive motion]
  • “dip out to” [conveys unserious intent]

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