pull someone's chain

pull someone's chain

1. Make someone speak out of turn, as in Who pulled your chain?-It's none of your business. [1920s]
2. Make someone angry, especially deliberately, as in Teenagers really know how to pull their parents' chains. [c. 1960] Both usages allude to the literal sense of chain-pulling, that is, "causing someone to do something, as though activated by a chain."
See also: chain, pull