In Reply to: He'll do his pieces posted by ESC on August 02, 2008 at 08:31:
: : I recently heard the phrase "He'll do his pieces" in an episode of Are You Being Served? and was curious about its origin. From the context I gather that it means something like to become very upset or angry, but I haven't been able to find anything on the roots of the phrase.
: This is a guess. People, before mass entertainment, would "do pieces." For example, someone would recite a long poem he had memorized. Perhaps the person had a history of throwing a hissy fit, that was his "piece."
I've seen many episodes of "Are you being served?" but not recently. However, ESC is certinly correct about "doing your piece." But why the plural? Did one of the characters have a whole repertory of mannerisms or favorite speeches to put on display? Perhaps some Britishism unfamiliar to American audiences is involved.