Posted by R. Berg on January 14, 2002
In Reply to: US Equivalent for... posted by Word Camel 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 "s h i tting" as in "He was s h i tting 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 s h i tting me?" "You're kidding?"
: Anyone else? I'd be interested to know what people under 25 are using.
Yes, I myself often wonder what they're using.
And now back to the topic: US expressions include "making [someone] the butt of the joke," "ragging," and "ribbing." "We ribbed Joe about that new haircut of his until he finally put his hat back on." (From "rib-tickling"?)