This is from the podcast Stuff You Should Know.

Josh: Okay. So and they, that happened basically in real life. It was such a close resemblance to that I remember a reporter asking Bill Clinton like “Have you ever seen the movie Wag the Dog?” Because it like the Balkan NATO missions started like right as the Monica Lewinsky scandal was heating up.

Chuck: And he said “It depends on what your definition of scene is…

Josh: That’s right. I mean we’re gonna be able to tee off on that guy forever huh.

Josh seems to have used the phrase 'tee off' meaning 'to make someone annoyed' as defined in The Free Dictionary.

But 'tee off on' is defined as 'to speak about (someone or something) in an angry way' in Webster's dictionary.

So I think 'on' should be omitted in the above context.

Am I wrong?

  • 3
    Have you made a mistake? Both your cited dictionaries use "tee off on" and so does your quote. Why do you think the idiom is wrong? I would recommend you default to Websters for American English, it is a recognised authority, the free dictionary is like Wikipedia, it can be wrong.
    – Astralbee
    May 17, 2022 at 8:51
  • @Astralbee collinsdictionary.com/ko/dictionary/english/tee-off
    – user153498
    May 17, 2022 at 9:03
  • @Astralbee lexico.com/definition/tee_off
    – user153498
    May 17, 2022 at 9:04
  • 3
    For what it's worth, I, a native US English speaker, have never heard "tee off on" used the way that Webster's defines it. I wonder if Josh was trying to make some metaphor about using this as a starting point, like how a golfer starts by teeing off.
    – stangdon
    May 17, 2022 at 14:14
  • 2
    @SEProfile Right, I understand what the parody is, but it's not clear to me whether Josh thinks he's annoying Bill Clinton with this, and if he is, why he would say "tee off on".
    – stangdon
    May 17, 2022 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


You're wrong, the "on" should be there.

Example of "tee off on something/someone".


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