What does mean "do front windows" in this part of a play that I am reading?

Man: Well, get me the fucking drink!

Stu: Listen, we're just saying this is all we've got. Half a bottle. You can have it. it's yours.( Offers bottle.)

Man(refusing): What do you mean, it's mine? What's mine is mine. No one can take that away.No one.

Stu: Please...

Man( stepping back) : DON'T INSULT ME.

Danny: Look, pal, we want to give you the bottle.

Man: YOU'RE FUCKING RIGHT YOU WANNA GIVE ME THE BOTTLE. Because I fucking deserve it. And I don't need to be fucked about by any fucking fuckers like you! Or maybe I'll just come back and do your front windows.

  • It means break his front windows. Sep 24, 2016 at 17:30
  • 6
    @RoaringFish I think it means "break his fucking front windows".
    – WS2
    Sep 24, 2016 at 17:34
  • 1
    @WS@ Fucking break his fucking front fucking windows.
    – Drew
    Sep 25, 2016 at 1:22
  • Changing "do your front windows" to “do front windows” was dangerous. "do your front windows" here clearly means "break your front windows", although in other contexts it could just as easily mean "sell you some/install your/mend your/clean your front windows" Meanwhile “do front windows” could only just possibly have the negative connotation of "break"; far more likely it would be positive, as "sell you some/install your/mend your/clean your front windows" Please, when asking about a phrase, quote the phrase exactly as it appears, not any interpretation of it. Oct 8, 2016 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


The very utilitarian verb do in English is used, among other things, as a placeholder for nearly any other concept you might put it to. In a way it's the Swiss Army Knife of verbs. It literally means to act in whatever sense is implied or previously stated.

When the sense is stated, it works like this:

A. I think I'll eat this sandwich.
B. Do it.

A. Would you build a house on a mountaintop?
B. I'd do it if I had the money.

George Bernard Shaw famously wrote:

"He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches."

The sense there is obvious.

When the reference is not stated, you need to rely on context, and it is almost always a euphemism there. There's a cliché you'll hear a lot:

We don't do windows.

Meaning, literally, that we don't wash windows, but what it really means metaphorically when windows are not the subject is that the speaker is limiting the scope of what "we" may or may not consider appropriate work for "us".

See references to Do Me Feminism, which is also called Sex Positive Feminism and can be illuminated as "Fuck me" feminism. "Fuck me" is coarse and obscene so the euphemism is called on.

Underworld dramas and cop shows are full of characters saying they are going to "do" someone, meaning they are going to kill them. Again, the word kill is too strong (and incriminating) so the euphemism is preferred.

It is this latter, euphemistic sense that seems to be where your line of dialogue is headed. Several users have proposed that do there is a stand-in for break, and that seems perfectly reasonable to me. It is used euphemistically so as to avoid mentioning the specific type of violence intended while making sure that the message is conveyed that there will be some kind of violence.

  • The same word "do" can also be used in the same shorthand/euphemistic sense in the capacity of a noun. Our office Christmas do will be held on Saturday 22nd December at the White Hart Hotel, or There's a do on at the golf club tonight.
    – WS2
    Sep 24, 2016 at 19:51

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