phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Cutting up

Posted by Smokey Stover on February 12, 2006

In Reply to: Cutting up posted by Word Camel on February 12, 2006

: Here's one we don't have yet. When we were kids in the 60's and 70's fooling around or being silly was called "cutting up". You could get in trouble for it.

: Not sure what the origin is but will have a look around

The OED recognizes this usage, but, of course, without explaining it. "[cut up] o. trans. With caper, shines, etc.: to behave in a mischievous or frolicsome manner. U.S." You and I, being of U.S. origin, probably would not describe the phrase as transitive, nor use the word frolicsome. Mischievous I can go along with. The OED also has "cut-up, n.". also of U.S. origin. One can, of course, cut a caper, or could perhaps a hundred years ago. SS