Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cut up a dido v.

also cut a dido, cut dido(e)s, cut dingdoes, cut up dido(e)s
[cut up v.1 (6) + SE dido, a prank, a disturbance]

1. (orig. US) to play pranks, to act the fool.

[US]J.R. Shaw Life and Travels 140: A jolly Irishman, who cut as many didos as I could for the life of me.
[US]D.P. Thompson Adventures of Timothy Peacock 170: Must all the world know all the didos we cut up in the lodge-room?
[US]W.E. Burton Waggeries and Vagaries 78: He left [...] quite careless as to what ‘didoes and shines’ he might cut up in future.
[US]N.-Y. Trib. 10 Apr. n.p.: Had the Free States been manly enough, true enough, to enact the Wilmot Proviso as to all present or future territories of the Union, we should have had just the same didoes cut up by the chivalry that we have witnessed, and with no more damage to the Union [F&H].
[US]Bellevue Gaz. (NE) 17 Sept. 2/3: The chief performer of the orchestra made the organ cut up didos [...] I wonder if those musicans up a little higher are pleased with such pranks?
[US]M.L. Byrn Adventures of Fudge Fumble 72: He [,...] would have fallen down, rolled over, and cut up a sight of di-do’s.
[US]Petroleum Centre Dly Record (PA) 22 Dec. 2/3: Two pugilists are battling, / Others cutting didoes — / What a botheration!
[UK]J. Mair Hbk of Phrases 102: Cut didoes, to be frolicsome.
[US]J.C. Duval Young Explorers 69: He had seen Injins often enough cuttin’ up their didos on horseback.
[US]Ade Girl Proposition 152: The Congregation was sure of many a Hearty Laugh when he came in as Santy and began to cut Didoes.
[UK]Greenock Teleg. 24 Apr. 4/6: Yankee Slang [...] ‘cutting up didoes,’ laying pranks.
[US]L.W. Payne Jr ‘Word-List From East Alabama’ in DN III:iv 303: cut (up) didoes, v. phr. To cut capers, to act smart.
[US]A.G. Field Watch Yourself Go By 85: Alfurd’s mos’ crazy ’bout bein’ a circus clown an’ ye’d die laffin’ to see the little cuss cuttin’ didoes.
[US]G.A. England ‘Rural Locutions of Maine and Northern New Hampshire’ in DN IV:ii 70: cut didoes, or dingdoes, v. phr. To put on airs and graces.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 76: Dido, To Cut A: To excel in some freakish way.
[US]D. Runyon ‘The Lemon Drop Kid’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 374: Nobody blames him for cutting up these didoes.
[US] (ref. to 1920s) Wentworth & Flexner DAS 136/2: cut didoes To be frolicsome.

2. to behave outrageously, to cause a fuss or indulge in a row.

[US]T. Haliburton Sam Slick in England I 276: Who ever heerd them Italian singers recitin’ their jabber, showin’ their teeth, and cuttin’ didoes at a great private consart.
[US]Cooper’s Clarksburg Register (WV) 7 Nov. 4/4: [He] did not [...] step on any body’s toes, or cut up any dido to attract particular attention.
[US]Cambria Freeman (Edensburg, PA) 3 Aug. 3/2: The young men left [...] wondering why they don’t fine fellows for getting tight on 4th July and cutting up innocent ‘didos’.
[US]Sun (NY) 11 Aug. 1/3: They believe him to have led a corrupt political life, and [...] that he will cut up some dido in the White House.
[UK] ‘’Arry on the Elections’ in Punch 12 Dec. 277/2: And if they rough up and cut didos, [...] jolly well like the whole lot!
[US]Record Union (Sacramento, CA) 19 May 6/1: Just as well as though you told me. Old Six-per-cent’s cut up some dido or other?
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 243: A nice come-down for you, I must say, [...] a-cuttin’ up didoes with a lodger.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Dream Street Rose’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 48: They find her jerking citizens around and cutting up other didoes.
[UK]Kirk & Madsen After The Ball 311: A certain sort of gay man comes to believe that he has a right to cut such didoes in public bathrooms and parks.