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In a video, two people are describing a character from a fictional show and they say: 'he loves bits, he's always doing bits' and they move on to another topic. I don't understand the meaning of 'bits' and 'do bits' in this context. I looked up 'bits' in the Urban dictionary but I am not sure if any of those definitions would fit there. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • What is the fictional show, and what character are they describing? – Dan Bron May 28 '15 at 12:03
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    Hard to tell without more context, but a "bit" can be a small skit or monolog or such. Generally it would be something with one or two actors/commedians, running under 5 minutes. – Hot Licks May 28 '15 at 12:31
  • @Saru, bit may also refer to the Computer Science term "bit," a portmanteau of binary digit. – bn01 May 28 '15 at 13:04
  • Thank you everyone for your answers! Unfortunately, they don't give more information about the character. They are two people who have created a fictional show set in Brooklyn and are describing one of the characters. – Saru May 28 '15 at 14:02
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    In that context, it's clearly referring to a comedic skit, as @HotLicks said. – Barmar May 29 '15 at 15:24
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Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) includes a definition of bit that matches the sense in which the characters in your example use the term:

bit n ... 3 : something small or unimportant of its kind: as ... c (1) : a small part usu. with spoken lines in a theatrical performance (2) : a usu. short theatrical routine {a corny comedy bit}

The relevant definition here is 3c(2).

Robert Chapman & Barbara Kipfer, Dictionary of American Slang, third edition (1995) has this take on the same meaning of bit:

bit ... 3 n fr[om] theater A display of pretended feeling, or an outright imitation; =ACT, SHTICK. [Examples:] So he does his hurt-puppy-dog bit/ You should see my Jimmy Cagney bit

An example of a bit would be someone doing an imitation of Edward G. Robinson as Johnny Rocco from the 1948 movie Key Largo—just a few lines of famous dialogue like

"After living in the USA for more than thirty-five years, they called me an undesirable alien. Me. Johnny Rocco. Like I was a dirty Red or something!"

That's a bit. So is a mime pretending to be trapped in a glass box. Or a magician doing the endless scarf trick. Or a comedian riffing on his mother-in-law.

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They are referring to sexual stuff that is not full sex. Do bits means like foreplay before sex, or oral sex.

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    Hi, Jumptogo—and thanks for your interest in English Language & Usage. Please consider substantiating your contention about what "do bits" means by citing a dictionary or other reference work that supports your understanding. – Sven Yargs Aug 29 '18 at 5:56

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