Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cut up v.1

[fig. uses of SE]

1. [mid-18C+] to slander, to criticize, esp. behind the victim’s back; thus cutting up n.

2. [early 19C] to box; thus cutting upn., boxing.

3. [mid-19C] to impress.

4. [mid–late 19C] to become, to appear, to show up.

5. [mid-19C+] to show off, to play the clown, to make people laugh; to act eccentrically; thus cutting up n.

6. [mid-19C+] to behave, to act; usu. with a defining adj.

7. [mid-19C+] (US, also cut up dickens) to complain, to make a lot of noise, lit. and fig.; thus cuttings-up n., criticism.

8. [mid-19C+] to dance, to have a good time; thus cutting up n.

9. [1920s+] (US) to talk about.

10. [1920s+] (US) to cause trouble for.

11. [1950s; 2010s] to misbehave.

12. [1990s+] (US black) to fight.

13. (US black) of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

In phrases

cut up a dido (v.)

see separate entry.

cut (up) a shine (v.) [19C]

1. to play (practical) jokes.

2. to ‘cut a caper’.

3. (US) to make a fuss, to cause a commotion.

4. to brag, to boast.

cut up dickens (v.)

see sense 7 above.

cut up jack (v.)

see separate entry.

cut up rough (v.)

see separate entry.

cut up savage (v.)

[mid-19C] to become annoyed .

cut up ugly (v.)

[mid-19C+] to become annoyed .