Now you take these young folks, that goes to high school
They sometimes really, do act the fool.
—Scrapper Blackwell, “Be-Da-Da-Bum,” 1929
To behave foolishly or idiotically in a conspicuous manner; a still-current black colloquialism, synonymous withto clown.
His ways an’ actions is hard to beat
For he’s the sheik, of Desplaines Street.
—Papa Charlie Jackson, “Sheik Of Desplaines Street,” 1927
Conduct; a colloquialism embodied in the now-proverbial 19th-century American saying “Actions speak louder than words,” and found in Stephen Crane’sMaggie: A Girl Of The Streets(1893): “‘Anybody what had eyes could see dat dere was somethin’ wrong...