• A mischievous trick or prank.

Get a new word in your inbox every day.

By subscribing you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Example Sentences

“A dido or a prank is to be expected on the last day of school, but nothing gets out of hand.”

“My grandpa always tries to play a dido on my grandma when she comes home from the store, but he never fools her.” 

“The most notorious dido in town history was when a flock of sheep was released on the high school field — no one ever claimed them.”

Word Origin

American English, early 19th century

Why this word?

There’s a story in Greek mythology in which Dido bargains with the Berber king Iarbas for a small piece of land — just enough that it can be encircled by an oxhide. He agrees, and Dido proceeds to cut an oxhide into small strips and produce enough material to make it around a nearby hill. According to myth, that settlement became Carthage, and Dido was the first queen. The history of Dido and Carthage is much more involved, but the idiom “to cut a dido,” meaning “to play a prank,” traces directly back to the queen and her oxhide.

  • More brands you’ll love

    Elevate Your Everyday

    More brands you’ll love

    Elevate Your Everyday

    Subscribe to Better Report to receive tips and tricks that will save you money, maximize your time, and improve your life.

    Subscribe to Better Report
    By clicking “Subscribe” you’re agreeing to Better Report Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Learn a new word Veridical