caper

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cut capers

Also, cut a caper. Frolic or romp, as in The children cut capers in the pile of raked leaves. The noun caper comes from the Latin for "goat," and the allusion is to act in the manner of a young goat clumsily frolicking about. The expression was first recorded in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (1:3): "Faith, I can cut a caper."
See also: caper, cut

caper

(ˈkepɚ)
1. n. any stunt or event; a trick or a scam. That little caper the kids did with the statue from the town square was a dandy.
2. n. a criminal job: theft, kidnapping, blackmail, etc. (Underworld.) The black and whites pulled up right in the middle of the caper.
References in classic literature ?
And with her hands plunged deep in the pockets of her coat she capered in front of me in the excess of her enjoyment, reminding me of a very fat black lamb frisking round the dazed and passive sheep its mother.
The pony, surprised to be so strangely relieved of its burden, started and capered, and kicked a little, and then made use of its freedom to go and crop the grass of the hedge-bank: while its master lay as still and silent as a corpse.
Lamb, that lately capered on the greening hillsides, was becoming exploited with the sauce that commemorated its gambols.
But what made it so valuable in the sight of the captain of the School eleven was that he there saw his young hands shaking off their shyness and awe of the Lord's men, as they crossed hands and capered about on the grass together; for the strangers entered into it all, and threw away their cigars, and danced and shouted like boys; while old Mr.
He looked in at the dining-room window, managing his horse, which curvetted and capered beautifully--for one instant the young person might be seen at the window, when her figure vanished, and, doubtless, she went upstairs again to resume the affecting duties of benevolence.
In front the violin sang a strident tune, and the biniou snored and hummed, while the player capered solemnly, lifting high his heavy clogs.