Green’s Dictionary of Slang

kick up v.

1. to cause trouble, to react unfavourably, usu. in combs., see below and at individual nouns.

[Ire]K. O’Hara Midas I ii: Nor doubt I, with my voice, guittar and person, Among the nymphs to kick up some diversion.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Living Picture of London 159: Another of the same stamp had offered him ‘hush-money,’ on his ‘kicking up a bubbery’ at the public-house, where it happened.
Londonderry Sentinel 5 Apr. n.p.: [He] meets with the mob, and then [...] cries ‘Kick up a dust, but keep peace all the while’.
[US]Columbia Phoenix (SC) 20 Apr. 4/2: Lucy [...] you’re a critter as has kicked up a good deal of mischief with me — but I forgive you.
[UK] ‘Lannigan’s Ball’ in Yankee Paddy Comic Song Book 5: Myself got a lick from big Phelim McHugh, / But soon I replied to his kind introduction, / And kicked up a terrible Phillabaloo.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 27 June 11/1: Dear Bob, – I am sorry to tell you that I am going away up North on a station to live with Tom. I promised him to go the time you went to town and kicked up such a spree.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 92: Oh what a hullabaloo that stranger kicked up.
[US]F. Hurst ‘Heads’ in Humoresque 214: You just kick up nasty at the last minute and watch me!
[US]Eve. Star (Wash., DC) 30 Jan. 62/1: He’s continually dinging at me about getting married, and then when I show [...] interest in anybody, there he goes kicking up the dust.
[UK]Western Morn. News 10 Mar. 4/2: Greevey made a threat to ‘kick up murder’ as she was coming up the street.
[US]D. Lamson We Who Are About to Die 108: The men kick up the devil of a racket.
[UK]I. Fleming Casino Royale (1955) 21: We shall be lucky if they don’t kick up rough.
[UK]Observer 3 Oct. 27: He’s kicked up rough about the Sensation exhibition.

2. to create, to make something happen; thus kicker-up, one who creates, who makes things happen.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 150/1: ‘Blast my hyes if she ain’t a saucy little jade,’ cried Folkstone, as he rapturously eyed his little ‘kicker-up’ of graft.
[WI](con. 1950s) L. Bennett ‘Free Movement’ in Jamaica Labrish 163: Dem leggo line an kick up shine / An call it Carnival!

3. to raise the volume, e.g. on a stereo.

[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 59: Cooper slapped in a Buddy Miles cassette [...] and kicked it up.

4. (US) to start.

[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 270: If Family Affair had testers out yesterday during ‘All My Children,’ then you best get your ass down to mount Street when the same soap kicks up tomorrow.

5. (US Und.) to pass on a share of a bribe to a senior rank in one’s organization.

[US]D. Winslow Winter of Frankie Machine (2007) 28: You can do about anything in this country as long as you kick up to the feds. Uncle wants his taste.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] The patrolmen would kick up to the sergeants, the sergeants to the lieutenants, the lieutenants to the captains, [etc].

6. of rain or storms, to be extreme.

[UK]I. Welsh Decent Ride 78: It’s fuckin kickin up up big time ootside.

In phrases

kick up a fuss (v.)

to cause trouble, to create a disturbance.

[UK]Whizzbang Comics 39: Neddy naughtily nodded and began to kick up a fuss as well.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings Goes To School 55: I thought he’d kick up no end of a fuss.
[UK]P. Terson Apprentices (1970) Ii iii: Do you think I should? Kick up a fuss?
kick up (a) murder (v.) [blue murder n.]

to make a great fuss.

[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 327: Jesus, there’s always some bloody clown or other kicking up a bloody murder about bloody nothing.
[Ire]B. Behan Quare Fellow (1960) III i: Some hungry pig ate half his breakfast and he kicked up murder.
[UK](con. 1930s) D. Behan Teems of Times and Happy Returns 162: I’ll as’ for me dinner, an’ if it’s not ready I’ll kick up murder.
kick up a riot (v.)

to cause trouble, to create a disturbance.

[UK]Foote Englishman Returned from Paris in Works (1799) I 112: You know we intend to kick up a riot to-night at the play-house.
[UK]Leeds Intelligencer 19 Apr. 4/1: It is held to be rather a desire of kicking up a riot against persons than measures.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 223: From morn to night thou’rt never quiet, / Unless when kicking up a riot.
[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 133: Patriots, ’bout freedom will kick up a riot / Till their ends are all gain’d, and their jaws then are quiet.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) I 302: From morn to night thou’rt never quiet, / Unless when kicking up a riot.
[UK]Morn. Post (London) 8 June 1/2: Perhaps kicking up a riot, / Might make the loyal brawlers quiet.
[UK]M. Edgeworth Love and Law III i: He was the original cause of kicking up the riot.
[UK]Chester Courant 5 July 4/4: As they persisted in kicking up a riot, he endeavoured to take the soldier into custody.
[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers (1880) 50: Sam gets tipsy an’ kicks up a riot.
[UK]Reynolds’s Newspaper 28 Sept. 4/4: Not long since the aristocratic patrons of an aristocratic theatre amused themslves by kicking up a riot.
kick up bobsy-die (v.) [dial. bobs-a-dying, a great fuss, pandemonium]

(N.Z.) to make a fuss, a commotion.

[NZ]R.M. Muir Word for Word 181: Been running round kicking up bobsy-die all morning.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 17/1: bobsy-die fuss or fun; common phr. ‘kicking up bobsy-die’; ironic C18 English nautical almost rhyming ‘bob’s-a-dying/ idling’ underwent sea change to NZ C19, possibly picking up ‘bobbery’ or shindy, from Hindi ‘bapre’. Ngaio Marsh used original in Surfeit of Lampreys: ‘If she’s right ... it plays Bobs-a-dying with the whole blooming case.’.
Amanda Sheddan ‘White Cross Draws Fire’, on N.Z. Doctor Online 20 Nov. [Internet] The IPA will be ‘kicking up bobsy-die’ if White Cross expands, he says.

SE in slang uses

In phrases