A parent often wriggles his/her fingers in the child's neck or pinch his/her nose playfully.

This is harmless, just make them laugh.

Is it correct to say "I am teasing you" or "I am kidding you" or "I am making fun of you" in everyday conversations?

1 Answer 1


Teasing and kidding both involve an element of pretence.

That's to say, either your words or your actions point towards something that you don't really intend. For a few moments, they may lead someone to believe something that you are about to disabuse them of.

I couldn't get tickets for the big match. Brief pause! Don't worry, I'm just teasing; they're here in my pocket.

So, you are not really teasing or kidding a child when you play with it. You are just being playful.

To make fun of is to mock. This can be done in a light-hearted way that equates to teasing. Or it can be pretty vicious! But no, you are not making fun of a child when you play with it. You are having fun with the child.

  • 1
    I agree about kidding, but teasing does not require an element of pretense, and can include verbal or physical interactions. Siblings who are playing keep-away with another siblings belongings may be told not to tease. Teasing can also be joking about something that's true (ex: Sibling A says "The only reason sibling B gets up early for school is that he wants to look good for his crush" and parent says "Don't tease your brother"). And to the specific physical game of "got your nose" that the OP asks about, I would easily describe that as (lighthearted) teasing.
    – Katy
    Aug 10, 2021 at 15:52
  • @Katy Fair points all. It's good to give questioners different understandings! Aug 10, 2021 at 16:26

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