What does this pattern mean?

Don't Do A <NAME>

In which <NAME> is the name of a person being talked about?

  • Also note that this is sometimes phrased as "Pull a [name]" instead of "Do a [name]". They mean the same thing. – Era Feb 4 '16 at 19:35

Using names as a verb is a fairly recent development in English. While context is everything, it usually means something along the lines of:

Don't do what [name] tends to do.


Don't act like [name].

Here, the speaker is almost inventing a word based on the name.

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    In "do a [name]", the name is being used as a noun—note the article. – snailplane Nov 10 '14 at 12:15

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