up to one's old tricks

Idioms & Phrases

up to one's old tricks

Behaving in one's usual deceitful or mischievous fashion, as in She's up to her old tricks, telling her parents one thing and her teachers another, or He's up to his old tricks, teasing his sisters until they're in tears. Put as at his old tricks, this idiom was first recorded in 1823.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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