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he was pulling my leg

he was only joking


pull someone's leg = jmdn. auf die Schippe nehmen, jmdn. veräppeln --- GOOGLE INDEX you're pulling my leg: approximately 150,000 Google hits



It was only then that I realised he was, as always, PULLING MY LEG.

(The Sri Lanka Sunday Leader)

When Martin was told MGM wanted him to come to Hollywood and make a screen test, "I thought somebody is PULLING MY LEG. But then I received train tickets."

(The San Francisco Chronicle)

Did you

pull someone's leg

- to play a joke on; tease or deceive

(American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition 2000)


According to the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, the expression "pull someone's leg" did not always mean making fun of someone in a good-humoured way. When the phrase appeared in Scotland around 100 years ago, it referred to making a fool of someone, sometimes by cheating.

One theory is that the expression derives from the idea that by tripping a person (pulling his leg), they will be thrown into a state of confusion and made to look foolish.

Besides pulling a leg, one can "pull the wool over someone's eyes," meaning to deceive. The Morris dictionary claims this expression traces back to the days when gentlemen wore wigs similar to those still worn by British court judges. Back then it was common practice to jokingly pull a man's wig over his eyes so that he was unable to see what was happening.

This might also be referred to as "hoodwinking," which has an interesting origin as well. Wink means to have the eyes closed or covered by a "hood" (hoods were commonly worn in the 16th century for example). Thieves would thus "hoodwink" someone by pulling a hood over the victim's head. This term was also used to describe the practice of hooding hawks and falcons when they were carried.


"Be prepared to have your leg pulled on April 1st."

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