pull a... v.
in fig. uses, denoting forms of action.
(a) to act in a way that is calculated to shock, amuse or deceive, e.g. pull a gag, pull a stunt (see phrs. below and under individual nouns) .
|Man with Two Left Feet 101: I guess it was raw work pulling a tale like that on the old man.‘Crowned Heads’ in|
|Babbitt (1974) 96: Why, he can pull a Raw One in mixed company and all the ladies’ll laugh their heads off.|
|Jarnegan (1928) 238: We’ll show ’em who can pull a fast shuffle.|
|‘A Nose for News’ in Goulart (1967) 198: I realized that Harry Lyons [...] had pulled a sandy on me.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 184: pull a beef To commit an error.|
|USA Confidential 91: [They] decided to pull a steal and seal their control of City Hall.|
|Long Good-Bye 171: Then she had gone inside and pulled a faint.|
|Addict in the Street (1966) 177: When you pull a stunt like that they get mad.|
|Central Sl. 42: pull a ghost To disappear [...] ‘Nigger said he was goin’ to work and pulled a ghost on me’.|
(b) (orig. US) used with a proper name to mean to imitate or act in the manner of, esp. when the proper name is almost synon. with a certain type of extreme or easily identifiable behaviour, e.g. pull a Daniel Boone, to act drunkenly; pull a Lindbergh, to act in a heroic manner; see under individual proper names.
|Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 12 Mar. 11/1: The WPA publicity man [...] threatening to pull a Joe Louis on a visiting guest.|
|IOL News (SA) 6 Apr. [Internet] They want to pull a David Copperfield with job creation, without actually engaging in some grey matter.|
(US black) to act in a deliberately stupid manner.
|‘Hectic Harlem’ in N.Y. Amsterdam News 8 Feb, sect. 2: PULL A BOOTSIE. – A dumb act.|
see under fast one n.
see pull a fast one under fast one n.
see G n. (2)
(Aus. Und.) to divert a bystander’s attention from a crime.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Apr. 45: He’s got the front and he can rave – a top mag – but just can’t pull a head.|
(US teen) to scrounge constantly from one’s friends; thus Mr/Mrs Jones, one who scrounges constantly.
|‘Dictionary’ on Smelly Chicken Wedgie Picker’s Association [Internet] Pull a Jones: To constantly take food or something from friends instead of buying it yourself. A girl who Joneses a lot is called Mrs. Jones, a guy that Joneses is a Mr. Jones.|
to make a face, to grimace.
|Wild Boys of London I 238/2: ‘Wait a bit, you’ll see the guy pull a kite.’ ‘A what Sam?’ ‘A kite, a hugly ugly face I mean.’.|
|‘’Arry on His Critics’ in Punch 17 Dec. 280/1: My mug, mate, was made for a larf, and you don’t ketch it pulling a kite.|
see pluck a rose under pluck v.
to pursue a course of action, poss. deceitful or surprising.
|Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1994) 50: danny: What shot does she pull? bernie: The shot she is pulling is the following two things [etc.].|
(drugs) to vomit after excessive drug consumption.
|‘Drug Sl. Vault’ on Erowid.org [Internet] Pull a will vomiting from too much drug use.|