I have watched this cartoon

I think that is a British cartoon for children.

In this cartoon, George is a little brother and Peppa is a bigger one. Now, George was playing with a ball when Peppa came and took the ball. Peppa held the ball over his head and Geroge jumped and jumped to get the ball but couldn't reach it because he was too short.

The story says that "Peppa is teasing George".

Now, I checked the word "tease" in the dictionary and couldn't find the meaning that matches the above action.

There are 2 meanings that we need to study


1-[intransitive, transitive] to laugh at somebody and make jokes about them, either in a friendly way or in order to annoy them or make them embarrassed

Don't get upset—I was only teasing. tease somebody I used to get teased about my name. tease (somebody) + speech ‘You're not scared, are you?’ she teased him.

2-[transitive] tease something to annoy an animal, especially by touching it, pulling its tail, etc.

So the first meaning is all about the speech or words but not about the action that a person teases another person.

For example, a wife cooked bad food and her husband said "What a yummy dish you cook!"

The second meaning is about some actions that just involves animals. I am not sure if it applies to people.

Can we say "Peppa is teasing George" when Peppa is doing some cheeky actions ONLY to Geroge for fun, but not making jokes about George or giving any funny speech to George?

1 Answer 1


It is sense 1) but I agree that the definition could be better worded. For comparison there is

Lexico: Make fun of or attempt to provoke (a person or animal) in a playful way.

Wiktionary: To poke fun at, either cruelly or affectionately.

Cambridge: to intentionally annoy a person or animal by saying something that is not true or pretending to do something, often in a playful way: The definition in Cambridge seems to capture it best.

In this case Peppa is teasing her brother. She is intentionally annoying him by pretending to let him have the ball, but it is not true that she is letting him have the ball because she is holding it too high.

Also, she is poking fun at him for being shorter than she is. She is laughing at him for not being tall enough to take the ball.

So this kind of annoying behaviour can be called teasing.

By the way, the example with the sarcastic criticism of the wife's cooking is not teasing, as there is nothing playful about it.

Making a joke does not have to spoken

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