What is origin of the usage of the word 'do' when in reference to a social event (primarily in Britain)?

For example a 'Stag do' or 'Christmas fundraiser do'.

  • Is this the same idea as 'hairdo'?
    – Mitch
    Aug 11, 2014 at 13:39
  • @Mitch There used to be a British TV show, in the late 80s I believe, entitled "A Bit of a Do" starring David Jason, every time there was a wedding, or any special occasion there would be a formal party, a get together of friends and relatives. A bit of a do, is an expression which emphasizes the event, something special, fancy. Something that takes a bit of time and effort to set up, organize and do.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 11, 2014 at 13:43
  • @Mari-LouA - OK. That sort of usage isn't very common in the US.
    – Mitch
    Aug 11, 2014 at 16:23
  • I was also searching for the root word, and base meaning for the word "do". I was actually searching whether it's anyway related to 'two', as in 'two hands'. Found no relevance so far. (I strongly believe there could be some link).
    – vi.su.
    Nov 24, 2015 at 3:24

1 Answer 1


The OED says for "do" 2b:

Something done in a set or formal manner; a performance; esp. an entertainment or show; a party; hence (orig. jocular), a military engagement, raid, or other ‘show’. Orig. dial. or vulgar.

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