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US Equivalent for...

Posted by Word Camel on January 14, 2002

In Reply to: US Equivalent for... posted by The Fallen on January 14, 2002

: UK English has many colloquial phrases that signify having a joke at another's expense, or poking fun at someone. A few examples as follows:-

: Taking the mickey out of someone
: Taking the piss out of someone
: Winding someone up

: Admittedly we English have a tendency to delight in mockery - many have accused us of having both deprecation and self-deprecation as national characteristics. However, despite this, I've not yet found any acceptable US equivalent for the above - "tease" is not colloquial, and I am sure that "pulling someone's leg" is as old-fashioned as it is over here.

: Is there a contemporary equivalent idiom?

Don't you know we Americans never EVER make fun of one another?

Here are a few I can think of -

To mess with someone, as in "I was just messing with him" or the more crass "shitting" as in "He was shitting me"

I usually resort to the non-colloqial "making fun of"

On a more serious note, I'm not sure there is an equivalent - at least not in the sense of a thing which one does to someone else. Perhaps it's because mocking is seen as more malicious here. It's far more common for the injured party to declare "You're shitting me?" "You're kidding?"

Anyone else? I'd be interested to know what people under 25 are using.