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.”

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.