Green’s Dictionary of Slang

do v.2

1. to inspect as a tourist, to visit, e.g. do London.

[UK]Lady Granville Letter June (1894) I 119: We shall then meet them at Basle, do the Rhine, stay two or three days at Brussels, and home .
[UK]Marryat King’s Own (1850) 343: Captain Hall [...] has [...] done North and South America .
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker III 72: He is a-doin’ a bit of Paris.
[UK]F. Smedley Harry Coverdale’s Courtship 100: They ‘did’ Westminster Abbey, which they really enjoyed.
[UK]G.A. Sala My Diary in America I 139: One can ‘do’ Niagara without penetrating into the British provinces.
[US]H.L. Williams Black-Eyed Beauty 46: If ever I raise a pile big enough, I’ll do London as a tip-top figure.
[Ind]‘Aliph Cheem’ Lays of Ind (1905) 68: He did the theatres, music halls, the Crystal Palace oh! / [...] / He also did the Park.
[UK]G. Leybourne ‘Parisien Harry’ Comic Songs 9: Some fellers do the Rhine.
[NZ]N.Z. Observer (Auckland) 15 Jan. 174/1: An Australian young lady, to whom he was introduced while doing the Sydney Exhibition.
[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 21 June 60: [caption] Here are the noble Briton and his family. They are ‘doing’ the Louvre. Observe the innate surperiority of the animal.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 17 Jan. 6/4: ‘Got up,’ you ‘did’ the Burlington Arcade / (Your Upper Hunter pals this will be gall on) / And patent leathers, too, also ’tis said, / You ‘mounted,’ John, when you had ’em ‘all on.’.
[UK]Kipling Civil and Military Gazette 25 July in Pinney (1987) 116: These Travelled Tots had ‘done’ the greater portion of the Continent, having seen men and cities from London to Venice.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 July 10/1: Here we see ‘our representatives’ going forth to ‘do’ the private bars. Being both unsophisticated young men, ‘Where the deuce are the private bars?’ they asked each other.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 31 Dec. 214: The first two days of my visit were spent in ‘doing’ the sights of St. Petersburg.
[US]J. Flynt World of Graft 109: On his return to his provincial beat he tells the ‘boys’ how he did the ‘Metropolis’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 2 Aug. 14/4: A certain bright little comedienne does Collins-st. occasionally with a wealthy American resident whom the Society girls have failed season after season to bait. The Johnnies of The Block think it ‘a case.’.
[UK]J.E. Horsley Memoirs of a ‘Sky Pilot’ 151: There are more pitiable folks who ‘do’ Switzerland and are ‘done’ themselves.
[UK]Grey Brigade 20 Nov. 4/3: So shall we do the town together?
[NZ]‘Anzac’ On the Anzac Trail 84: We [...] then proceeded to ‘do’ the township at the head of a now much augmented following.
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 52: Our plan now was to ‘do’ Baltimore.
[UK]E. Glyn Flirt and Flapper 68: Flapper: We’ll go to Harlem to a coloured show and then do the dives.
[Aus](con. 1830s–60s) ‘Miles Franklin’ All That Swagger 108: Robert and Tom called on the Butlers and Fullwoods and did the Township in company.
[UK]G. Gibson Enemy Coast Ahead (1955) 200: Despite the fact that Lancasters from our Group were the only ones capable of ‘doing’ Italy, we flew [...] no fewer than 1,336 sorties.
[US]W. Brown Teen-Age Mafia 16: Why don’t you give the dope the heave-ho, and you and me do the town?
[Aus]P. Adam-Smith Barcoo Salute 30: Like the tourist who took a quick fifteen minute flip through the Louvre, [...] I ‘had done’ the Davey caper.
[UK](con. 1984) P. Theroux My Secret Hist. (1990) 513: I think we’ve absolutely done Agra.

2. to parade fashionable areas.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 May 4/4: He looks as snug and natty as ever, and ‘does’ Queen-street as jauntily as heretofore.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 May 4/4: A certain fashionable Melbourne editor who ‘does’ Collins-street with a wealthy young heiress [etc].
[UK]Byford & Joghmans [perf. George Byford] ‘The Broken Down Masher’ 🎵 I’d do Wegent Stweet or I’d stwoll in the Cri / Smoke cigarettes, wear a glass in my eye.
[UK] ‘’Arry on Harry’’ Punch 24 Aug. 90/1: And ‘Cads’ do the road in smart dog-carts as well as afoot or on bikes.

3. to report on.

[UK]Sportsman 5 Oct. 2/1: Notes on News [...] [T]he gentleman [from the Dly Teleg.] who is down at Manchester ‘doing’ the rioters there is artisan whose skill altogether outruns his discretion.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 Nov. 9/1: The respected proprietor of a certain big city hotel died recently, and an Argus reporter was sent to ‘do’ the funeral.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 2 Aug. 14/1: A Melbourne journalist was sent to ‘do’ a Mothers’ Meeting in Collingwood, a gathering of the rich and quasi-scientific tabbies, to preach at the poor and ignorant.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 Aug. 10/2: Melbourne Age unloosed one of its boy-reporters, and shot him over to Auckland the other day to ‘do’ the ’Murkan Fleet.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Nov. 14/2: I was out ‘doing’ a murder in the bush for a Maoriland paper when I heard the Weird Noise.
[UK]Wodehouse Damsel in Distress (1961) 121: Whoever wishes for a cold and technical catalogue of the stuffs [...] may consult the files of the Belpher Intelligencer and Farmers’ Guide, and read the report of the editor’s wife, who ‘does’ the dresses for the Intelligencer under the pen-name of ‘Birdie Bright-Eye’.

4. to attend an entertainment, e.g. do a show.

[UK]A. Binstead Mop Fair 144: There are more takedowns at this game of racing than are suspected by those who ‘do’ their Derby [...] at their favourite music-hall.
[US]H. Hapgood Types From City Streets 117: They even ‘do’ it, when it assumes a ‘swell garb’.
[UK]S. Horler London’s Und. 51: Is it too late to do a show?
[UK]K. Williams Diaries 3 Jan. 18: Cedric phoned [...] we might do a film or something?
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 4 Sept. [synd. col.] Merle Oberon and M. Michaelis [...] are doing the plush places.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 231: You can’t do bars and monogamy at the same time.
[UK]F. Pitt-Kethley Sky Ray Lolly 54: Tourists who’re ‘doing’ the Royal Court / next week, but don’t know what is on.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 215: I don’t do funerals.
[UK]Eve. Standard Mag. 23 Feb. 28: They wanted to do Glastonbury, until it was cancelled.