Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pull a... v.

[pull v. (3)]

in fig. uses, denoting forms of action.

(a) [mid-19C+] 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) .

(b) [1940s+] (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.

In phrases

pull a bootsie (v.) [boot n.2 (2)]

[1930s] (US black) to act in a deliberately stupid manner.

pull a head (v.)

[1970s] (Aus. Und.) to divert a bystander’s attention from a crime.

pull a jones (v.) [generic use of Jones]

[1990s+] (US teen) to scrounge constantly from one’s friends; thus Mr/Mrs Jones, one who scrounges constantly.

pull a kite (v.) [? dial. kite-nipped, suffering from stomach cramps]

[late 19C] to make a face, to grimace.

pull a shot (v.)

to pursue a course of action, poss. deceitful or surprising.

pull a will (v.) [ety. unknown; ? echoic; or ? SAmE pull a will, to shoot a basket in basketball]

[1980s+] (drugs) to vomit after excessive drug consumption.