pull (one's) chain

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pull (one's) chain

To tease one, often by trying to convince them of something that isn't true. Quit pulling my chain, I know there isn't a Hollywood director calling me right now. I love pulling my sister's chain—it's almost too easy to fool her.
See also: chain, pull

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

pull someone's chain

or

yank someone's chain

AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you pull someone's chain or yank their chain, you tease them about something, for example by telling them something which is not true. I glared at her, and she smiled. When would I learn to smarten up and ignore her when she pulled my chain? Note: The image here is of someone teasing a dog by pulling the chain that it is tied up with.
See also: chain, pull

pull (or yank) someone's chain

tease someone, especially by leading them to believe something that isn't true. US informal
See also: chain, pull

pull someone’s chain

verb
See also: chain, pull
References in periodicals archive ?
They work like hand chain hoists, but use a lever rather than a pull chain to rotate the sprocket that activates the lifting mechanism.
The newer ones either had a tank on the wall above the bowl with a rocker-type flush valve or were hung higher on the wall with a pull chain. These were low-flush systems.
Westwood Lighting introduces, among other brass and iron lamps, a 58-inch floor lamp in a new Tortoise finish, with a shade of alabaster gilt-edge Belgian pleat and comes with twin on/off pull chain switches.
I went to replace the pull chain fixtures and while screwing it back in nicked the black wire.
A hand chain hoist has two chains: a lift chain that is attached to the load and a pull chain. As the operator pulls on the chain, the hoist's internal gearing raises and lowers the lift chain and provides the mechanical advantage for lifting.
I tapped its pull chain and our "stain" swayed back and forth.
A hand chain hoist has two chains: a lift chain that is attached to the load and a pull chain. As the operator pulls on the pull chain, the hoist's internal gearing raises and lowers the lift chain and provides the mechanical advantage for easing the lifting process.
Regardless of the existing switch type, you can choose a push-through switch, a pull chain, a turn knob or a three-way turn knob that provides two brightness levels.
Murphy pointed out that the mechanical dock levelers in place required associates to activate the platform by bending to lift a pull chain. This, along with the act of walking the platform down onto the truck bed, presented the risk of back injuries to employees.
Nor does the dock worker have to operate a pull chain to raise the leveler and lip.