Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cut up rough v.

also cut up bad, ...nasty, cut rough
[cut up v.1 (6) + SE rough]

1. to react unpleasantly, to become annoyed, to make a fuss.

[UK]Dickens Pickwick Papers (1999) 578: P’raps I may say I von’t pay, and cut up rough.
[UK]Dickens Old Curiosity Shop (1999) 140: Respect associations Tommy, even if you do cut up rough.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) II 180: The Proctor happened to see me; and he cut up so doosid rough about it.
[US]Potter Jrnl (Coudersport, PA) 25 Oct. 1/4: [set in London] Oh dash it [...] I shouldn’t care a rap about the things, only [...] the governor would cut up so deuced rough.
[UK]J. Greenwood Little Ragamuffin 252: On the tother hand [...] s’pose Sam had cut up rough?
[US]B. Harte Gabriel Conroy II 310: You’ve jest cut up thet rough with my higher emotions thet there ain’t enough left to chip in on a ten-cent ante.
[UK]Sheffield Indep. 23 Dec. 15/1: Never mind, man; don’t cut up rough about that.
[UK]W. Westall Larry Lohengrin I 50: ‘He gave us a sight of trouble.’ ‘How? Did he cut up rough?’.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 15 Oct. 6/1: ‘I was expecting a fight’ [...] ‘That countryman did cut up rather rough,’ assented the reporter.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Oct. 13/4: Thomas at once had these papers examined by a lawyer, and then there was more trouble; for, finding he had as much chance of getting hold of the moon as of the Chancery cash, he cut up rougher than ever, and finally, as alleged, skipped from his eight weeks’ bride entirely.
[UK]G. du Maurier Trilby 271: If any one tries to fool him, my eyes! don’t he cut up rough.
[UK]Coventry Herald 8 June 3/3: The Liberal Unionists have cut up nasty.
[Aus] (?) H. Lawson ‘Getting Back on Dave Regan’ in Roderick (1972) 368: We got away from there then. She cut up too rough altogether.
[US]Flynt & Walton Powers That Prey 201: Did the gov’nor cut up rough?
[UK]D. Cotsford Society Snapshots 38: If my people cut up rough about the bills and won’t pay, I must find some one who will.
[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 196: If he [i.e. a dunning tradesman] is fool enough to cut up nasty, threaten him with bankruptcy proceedings.
[Aus]Truth (Perth) 10 Dec. 4/8: And his old uns, if they knowed it, / Would cut rough, I am afeered.
[UK]Northampton Mercury 10 June 3/2: Pollie, ’ere, wait a minnit [...] don’t cut up nasty like that!
[UK]E. Pugh Cockney At Home 172: And that there old beast of a Moss has gone and cut me rough about them two quid what he lent to start me.
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith Journalist (1993) 299: Has anybody cut up rough about the stuff you’ve printed?
[UK]Marvel 29 May 4: He’s a game fighter [...] but he cut up nasty in the end.
[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 127: A nice chap, but liable to cut up rough [...] when he happens to have a fat head.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Nine Tailors (1984) 121: I don’t believe myself that Mrs. Wilbraham would ever have cut up so rough if it weren’t for the things Mr. Edward said to her.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 254: So this is the bloke who cut up rough, eh?
[UK]S. Lister Mistral Hotel (1951) 65: She’s liable to cut up rough if I cart her for the evening.
[UK]Dundee Eve. Teleg. 27 Oct. 4/3: Both accused were ejected from the public house after they had ‘cut up rough’ [...] A dozen tumblers, a pair of spectacles and a wrist watch were broken.
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 25: With only three previous before this trip to the Old Bailey for shop-breaking, he saw no sense in going out of his way to cut up rough and get celebrated as a desperate tearaway.
[UK]T. Parker Frying-Pan 49: You get some feller cutting up rough.
[UK]J. McClure Spike Island (1981) 461: If he cuts up rough, I don’t think the ratepayers are paying my wages to see me knocked to ground.
[NZ]H. Beaton Outside In Act II: I need some stuff. I’m cuttin’ up bad.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 10 Oct. 7: Once Ludwig was born, and she wanted to stop performing [...] he cut up rough.

2. to treat harshly.

[US]D. Runyon ‘The Defence of Strikerville’ in From First To Last (1954) 18: They cut up rough with the strikers whenever they got a chanst.