All Words > Dido

Monday, January 25

Dido

[DAI-do]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Unknown, early 19th century

1.

A mischievous trick or prank.

Examples of Dido in a sentence

"The senior class had been planning their end-of-year dido for months."

"A good dido will leave everyone laughing."

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About Dido

Aside from the mythological ties to Queen Dido of Carthage, we know that the definition of "dido" as a trick came into use somewhere in the 19th century, but how it acquired that connotation is a bit of a mystery.

Did you Know?

Like all good pranks, the word dido as mischief has somewhat uncertain origins. There's a story in which Dido, later queen of Carthage, first bargained with natives for the land that made up the great city. She asked for only as much territory as she could surround with the hide of a bull. Dido then cut up the bull’s hide into strips she could use to enclose a greater portion of land than her hosts expected — hence the term “to cut didoes.”

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