Posted by Victoria S Dennis on November 01, 2010 at 19:40
In Reply to: Cutting the fool posted by Matt Taylor on November 01, 2010 at 09:51:
: "Cutting the fool" is an old Southern expression, used by blacks and whites alike. It means poking fun at ir just generally being in a teasing mood. Yet I never find it in reference sites.
Just guessing, but it sounds like a blend of "playing the fool" and "cutting capers". "Cutting" here has the sense (I quote the OED) "To perform or execute (an action, gesture, or display of a grotesque, striking, or notable kind): chiefly in certain established phrases, as to cut a CAPER , a DASH , a FIGURE , a JOKE , a VOLUNTARY , for which see these substantives. Also, to cut an antic, a curvet, a flourish; to cut faces, to make grimaces, distort the features. " (VSD)