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Winding him up

Posted by James Briggs on July 24, 2003

In Reply to: Winding him up posted by ESC on July 24, 2003

: : : In Brooklyn and other places in the NYC area it is customary to refer to giving someone a hard time as "busting his chops". I've also heard it used to indicate teasing "Hey, I'm just busting your chops".

: : : Anyway, I'm wondering where it comes from and especially what the "chops" are. Any ideas?

: : That'll teach me to ask questions before my morning coffee!

: Is the British equivalent "winding him up"? Or is that kidding someone?

'Kidding' is a pretty good way of describing 'winding up'. However, 'to wind up' sombody can be quite deliberately nasty with the object of getting the person to lose their temper. It seems a perverse pass time, but people do it.