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pull (one's) leg
To tease or joke with someone, often by trying to convince them of something untrue. Quit pulling my leg, I know there isn't a Hollywood director calling me right now. I love pulling my sister's leg—it's almost too easy to annoy her.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
pull someone's leg
Fig. to kid, fool, or trick someone. You don't mean that. You're just pulling my leg. Don't believe him. He's just pulling your leg.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
pull (someone's) leg
To play a joke on; tease or deceive.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
pull someone's leg, to
To tease or fool someone; to trick someone in a humorous way. This term for a time was thought to allude to the gruesome practice of pulling on the legs of a person who was being hanged in order to shorten his or her agony. In fact, however, the current meaning of the cliché dates only from the late nineteenth century, long after hanging was accomplished in more humane fashion (by means of a long drop). Most authorities now believe it alludes to tricking a person by tripping them, using a cane or foot or other object that, in effect, holds back one of their legs so that they fall. Current in England in the late nineteenth century, it had crossed the Atlantic by 1910, when O. Henry wrote, “You can’t pull my leg,” in his story A Little Local Color.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer