Levant'

He has levanted —i.e. made off, decamped. A levanter is one who makes a bet, and runs away without paying his bet if he loses. (Spanish “levantar el campo, la casa,” to break up the camp or house; our leave.)

In the Slang Dictionary, p. 214, we are told that “it was formerly the custom, when a person was in pecuniary difficulties, to give out that he was gone to the Levant.” Hence, when one lost a bet and could not or would not pay, he was said to have levanted —i.e. gone to the Levant. Of no historic value.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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