tongue in cheek, with

(with) tongue in cheek

Humorous or intended as a joke, though seeming or appearing to be serious. I thought it was obvious that my comments were tongue in cheek, but I guess I delivered them with too much of a straight face, because it seems like I offended several people at the party. The zombie movie, very much with tongue in cheek, gives a clever criticism of American consumerism.
See also: cheek, tongue

tongue in cheek, with

Ironically or as a joke, as in Was he speaking with tongue in cheek when he said Sally should run for president? This term probably alludes to the facial expression produced by poking one's tongue in one's cheek, perhaps to suppress a smile. [First half of 1800s]
See also: tongue