When I was a kid, my mother used to wake me up for school every day. One morning, she knocked at the bedroom door and told me it was time to get up for school. I sleepily got out of bed and put on my school uniform. When I went downstairs for breakfast, she started laughing. “I was only pulling your leg!” she said. “There’s no school today, silly. Today is Saturday!”
Watch the latest episode of Everyday Idioms below to see more examples of how this expression is used in practice.
Pulling your leg? Like, doing some stretching exercises?
No! If someone says, “I’m only pulling your leg,” they mean, “I’m just kidding,” or “I’m just teasing (in a kind way),” or “I’m not being serious.”
Let’s see how we can use this phrase naturally:
- Oh, Mary, you’ve got some chocolate on your face … No, the other side … It’s still there … Still there! … Hahaha! I’m just pulling your leg! Lol! Sorry!
- Paul told you he’s a sumo wrestler? He isn’t a sumo wrestler! He’s just pulling your leg!
- OK, class. No homework today! Woohoo! … No, I’m just pulling your legs! Your homework is on pages 23-31.
So, there we are. The next time you tease one of your friends, afterward, you can tell them, “I’m only pulling your leg!”
Read the questions below, and try to answer using today’s idiom.
- Can you think of a time you played a trick on a child (or vice versa)? What happened?
- Did you ever tease a partner about something? What did you say afterward?
- When you were a student, did you or a classmate play a trick on a teacher? What did you say to the teacher afterward? Did he/she appreciate the joke?
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