Archive for February 13, 2011

idiom: to pull someone’s leg

Today is Sunday, and that means it’s time for another idiom. Today the expression I want to teach you is to “pull someone’s leg”. This is used to talk about one person telling a lie to another person as a joke. For example:

My girlfriend told me she was pregnant, but she was just pulling my leg.

A: Guess what! I’m moving to China next month!

B: Is that really true or are you pulling my leg?


A: Bill told me he used to date Julia Roberts.

B: You believed him? I’m pretty sure he was just pulling your leg.


A: Do you really work for NASA?

B: No, I was just pulling your leg. I’m really an accountant at ABC Company.

So, with this expression, it’s important that you only say “leg” without an S. If you say, “pulling my legs”, it will sound very strange. Also, it’s very common to put the word “just” in front of this expression.

The idea of lying to someone as a joke may be strange to people from certain cultures, but it is quite a normal part of humor among many English speakers.

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