needle (one) about (something)

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needle (one) about (something)

To criticize, goad, or provoke someone about some issue or topic in a persistent, irritating manner, especially with petty insults or jabs. He's always needling me about my sales performance, rubbing my face in the fact that he's selling twice as many units as me on average. Everyone took great fun in needling Jonathan for dating such a nerdy guy, but I could see that the jibes really hurt his feelings.
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needle someone about someone or something

to pester or bother someone about someone or something. Please don't needle me about Jane. Stop needling me about eating out.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Atkinson places a decal--at times so miniscule it is barely visible--of Enola Gay against a lurid monochrome and calls these pictures "Mutes" as if to needle us about our expectations of the "voice" of art.