Green’s Dictionary of Slang

kid v.

also kid around
[? to treat as a kid n.1 (1) or to cod v.]

1. (also kid on) to persuade.

[UK]Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: To Kid. To coax or wheedle. To inveigle.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue [as cit. 1811].
[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 3 Sept. n.p.: He could evidently have won, yet all his seconds [...] could not ‘kid him on to it’.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 27 Nov. 2/6: He ought to be ashamed of himself for ‘kidding’ his servants to kick up a row.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 55: kidding on, enticing, or inciting any person on.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 27/1: My ‘wedge super’ what I ‘slung’ her, to ‘kid’ her going with me to the ‘gaff’.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 5: Kidding On - Enticing.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 2 May 11/4: prisoner: Yes; he got me tight and kidded me to leave the band and join this fake. major kyer: Fake! prisoner: Yes. Said all I would have to do was blow when I was told. And now look at it!
[UK]E.W. Rogers [perf. Marie Lloyd] G’arn Away 🎵 ’e kidded me to lend ’im half a dollar.
[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 41: Kid, to joke or hoax anyone.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Oct. 26/1: I was just coming out of the bank with 20 quid that day, and I met a galoot from Come-by-Chance, that’s lost his luggage, and kids me to go to the station and help him find it.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 5 June 4/3: If Frank B. kids to Annie P. she will buy him a wooden head .
[UK]Northern Whig 12 Sept. 8/6: My blowen kidded a bloke into a panel crib and shook him of his thimble to put up the coal, but it wouldn’t fadge and I got three stretches.
[UK]F. Jennings Tramping with Tramps 153: ‘Kidding’ is one of the oldest items in the tramp’s list of callings. In every town in the country there are self-styled tradesmen who will readily employ a ‘kidder’ to ‘buy’ their goods and thus stimulate others into buying.
[UK]T. Taylor Baron’s Court All Change (2011) 18: [W]e would sit around and kid each other how well we were progressing.

2. (also kid on) to tease, to pretend, to fool; used in phr. I’m not kidding, I’m absolutely serious; I kid you not, I’m telling (you) the truth; who are/who do you think you’re kidding, who do you think you’re fooling (because it certainly isn’t me)?

[UK]Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: To Kid. [...] To amuse a man or divert his attention while another robs him. The sneaksman kidded the cove of the ken, while his pall frisked the panney; the thief amused the master of the house, while his companion robbed the house.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 12 July 1/3: Trainer tried the ‘kidding’ system, but on Thacker approaching he quickly jumped away.
[US] ‘Scene in a London Flash-Panny’ Matsell Vocabulum 99: I kidded a swell in a snoozing-ken, and shook him of his dummy and thimble.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 9 Nov. 3/5: [H]is consummate skill in gammoning boys that he is done with [...] which in slang language is termed ‘kidding’.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 26/2: Sold — as dead as Barney’s bulls — the little curse has ‘namased’ after ‘kidding’ me out of my ‘super’.
[UK]Macmillan’s Mag. (London) ‘Autobiog. of a Thief’ XL 505: I thought they was only kidding (deceiving) at first, so they said, ‘Let us get away from here, and you will see if we are kidding to you.’.
[UK]R. Barnett Police Sergeant C 21 249: You ain’t kidding a poor cove that’s down.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 Aug. 17/3: Perhaps Fitz was ‘kidding,’ but more probably the wealthy amateur is a good sort and takes newspaper puffs in exchange for champagne suppers and cigars.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 198: They kidded the poor young fool to go to Cox’s Rooms in Swallow Street.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 31: They’re just like us fellies an’ their goils, kiddin’ an’ laffin’.
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Voice of the City’ in Voice of the City (1915) 9: ‘Quit yer kiddin,’ said the boy.
[Ire]Joyce ‘Two Gallants’ Dubliners (1956) 51: ‘You know you can’t kid me, Corley,’ he said.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 27 Mar. 3/6: Lill R and Nell W kidded great style at the social .
Drew & Evans Grifter 8: ‘And all the while you was kidding to nurse me, for fear I would break out drinking’.
[US]J. Lait ‘The Septagon’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 17: Talking of kidding, I guess Billings was having a little fun with me.
[US](con. 1900s) S. Lewis Elmer Gantry 13: He’d [...] kid the juries along and hire some old coot to do the briefs.
[US]C.B. Yorke ‘Snowbound’ in Gangster Stories Oct. n.p.: ‘Listen, kid [...] I was just kidding about that fifty grand limit’.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 105: Strange there are fools who kid themselves they’ll live again. Who would want to who has really lived already? [Ibid.] 341: Course, like all Greeks with money, he kids poor.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 3: Music school? Are you kidding? I learned to play the sax in Pontiac Reformatory.
[US]J. Archibald ‘When a Body Meets a Body’ in Popular Detective Sept. 🌐 ‘Anythin’ is possible.’ ‘You ain’t kiddin’,’ Willie snapped.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 350: There’s no use kidding around.
[US]J. Thompson Criminal (1993) 62: You could have [...] kidded around with the boys.
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 26: The real wide man kidded to be soft till he was ready to have it off.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 11: Are ya kiddin me Alex? You could retire on the money we spend in here.
[US](con. 1960s) R. Price Wanderers 86: She laughed. ‘I’m only kiddin’. Where you live?’.
[UK]P. Barker Blow Your House Down 97: There they were in a circle on the table, I’m not kidding you.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 89: ‘That’s very funny,’ Stranahan looked at Luis Córdova, ‘Is he kidding?’.
[Aus]P. Temple Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] Don’t kid yourself. There was no negligence there.
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 35: Hey Nood man: kiddin’ orright?
[UK]Indep. Rev. 7 Jan. 8: Or was I just kidding myself?
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Rosa Marie’s Baby (2013) [ebook] ‘re you fuckin kidding?’.
[Scot]T. Black Gutted 55: Debs, you can’t kid a kidder.
[US] N. Flexner Disassembled Man [ebook] There were four guards with guns and billy clubs [...] I kid you not.
[Scot]L. McIlvanney All the Colours 123: ‘You could kid on things were nornal’.
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 4: You kidding me, man?
[Aus]G. Gilmore Class Act [ebook] ‘The internet is a marvellous thing, Bill, but you can’t kid a kidder’.

In derivatives

kidment (n.) [sfx -ment]

1. a handkerchief which is attached to the pocket from which it is protruding, so that a pickpocket, however careful, alerts the handkerchief’s owner when an attempt is made to remove it.

[UK]H. Brandon Dict. of the Flash or Cant Lang. 163/2: Kidment – a pocket handkerchief, pinned to the pocket with a corner hanging out to entrap thieves.
Snowden Mag. Assistant (3rd edn) 445: A pocket handkerchief pinned to the pocket for a trap – kidment.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.

2. any inducement to dishonesty or crime.

[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 5 Aug. 3/1: The majority of these had been led into the committal of the offence by tho artful ‘kidment’ of disguised policemen.
[UK] ‘Leary Man’ in ‘Ducange Anglicus’ Vulgar Tongue (1857) 43: And always try to be right in, / And every kidment scan.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 38/1: I was anxious to hear how Joe had got [a]long with his ‘kidment’ with Mrs. Rann.
[Aus]Australiasian (Melbourne) 17 July 8/5: A kidment is a device to entrap .
[UK]Daily Tel. 8 Aug. 3/2: Employing them for kidment, of course, [...] That’s what talents is give a man for, hain’t it? [F&H].

3. a fictitious story or any form of statement written with the intent of deception.

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sportsman 23 Oct. 2/1: Notes on News [...] A snarling cynic may say that the children chewing the sheep’s head was a bit what policemen [...] might call ‘kidment’.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 25 Nov. 6/5: Stash yer kidment, Bill, my bloke.

4. a begging letter.

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.

5. ‘coarse chaff or jocularity’ (Hotten, 1873).

[UK]Sl. Dict.
kiddish (adj.)

(Aus.) teasing, mocking.

[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 29 May 3/5: Jean R. should not be so kiddish when reading about others in ‘Sport’. It’s others’ turn to laugh now.
kidology (n.) [sfx -ology; thus note the nonce-word coined by the author Terry Pratchett (b.1948), headology, using one’s head rather than force to get what one wants]

the art of teasing or fooling a victim, esp. with the intent of obtaining something from them.

[UK]Times 22 Nov. 17: In Britain where the indiscriminate use of the word Château is a popular piece of kidology.

In phrases

kid (away) (v.)

(UK und.) to kidnap.

[UK]Proc. Old Bailey 8 Dec. 4/1: [He] said, that he was desired by the said Matthews, to shew him the City, and that he had no hand in his being kidded away.
are you kidding? (also you have to be kidding)

you can’t be serious, surely you’re joking.

[UK]J. Osborne World of Paul Slickey Act I: Are you kidding?
[UK]Mersey Beat 5–19 Oct. n.p.: Are you kidding? I’m not all that crazy!
[US]R. Price Breaks 315: His voice was clean and rich [...] eyebrows arched in expressive sincerity, but you have to be kidding.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 13 Jan. 1: Are you kidding? Here ...
I kid you not

(orig. US) a phr. implying that the speaker is being absolutely serious.

[US]E. Hunter Second Ending 267: ‘Oh, come on, man, you’re dusting me’ ‘I kid you not.’.
[US]F. Kohner Gidget Goes Hawaiian 25: I kid you not.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 58: You puke purple. I kid you not.
[Scot]I. Welsh Trainspotting 123: A dead peachy scene that would be, ah kid you not catboy!
[UK]Indep. Rev. 16 Aug. 9: I kid you not.
posting at 28 Jan. 🌐 I KID YOU NOT – Catchphrase used by Jack Paar. Paar, host of the Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962 [...] Even youngsters sent to bed before Mr. Paar came on parroted his jaunty catchphrase, ’I kid you not.’.
kid along (v.)

1. to tease, esp. with a long and apparently feasible story.

[US]R. Lardner ‘Carmen’ in Gullible’s Travels 29: I thought I’d kid them along.
[Aus]G. Casey ‘Short Shift Saturday’ in Mann Coast to Coast 207: Lofty was only kidding them along.
[US]J. Heller Good As Gold (1979) 114: I sure get a kick [...] out of the way you guys kid each other along.

2. (also kid up) to deceive, to hoax.

[Aus]Aussie (France) XIII Apr. 4/1: She used to always leave me about dark, but this night she stopped half an hour longer, and kidded me up a treat. She loved me because I was an homme honnête.
[US]R.J. Fry Salvation of Jemmy Sl. I ii: Why don’t ya try and make up to ’em. Kid ’em along an’ get the coin.
[US]E.S. Gardner ‘Bird in the Hand’ in Goulart (1967) 272: He’s just got that canary to kid us along. He wants to sidetrack us.
[US]W.R. Burnett High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 332: You couldn’t get a pound off of them with sandpaper, but we kid ’em along.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 97: Rex kidded Silver along.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 102: Girls of high and haughty spirits need kidding along.
kid on (v.)

1. to encourage someone else to do something.

[UK]H. Brandon Dict. of the Flash or Cant Lang. 163/2: Kidding on – to entice one on.
[UK]‘Ducange Anglicus’ Vulgar Tongue.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 416/2: There they met with beggars who kiddied them on to the lurk.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 25 Nov. 6/5: I’ve knowed those as were good-uns need a little kidding on at times .
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. 9/2: Kino, the macing cove, kidded on a dollymop where the bloak’s got a swag of sheen. Kino’s cocum, and he’s stagging to crack the crib. Kino, the housebreaker, enticed a servant-girl (to keep his company) where the master has a quantity of plate. Kino’s wary, and he is watching to break into the house.

2. to tease, to deceive.

[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn).
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 425/1: He kids them on by promising three times more than the things are worth. This is a grand racket.
J.Runciman Chequers 186: I was kiddin’ him on [F&H].
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 172: What a cracker and didn’t she like it and all? Wasn’t one of them to kid on she didn’t.
[Scot]Scotland on Sunday Mag. 7 Nov. 19: I kid on this doesn’t bother me but it kills me.
[UK]B. Hare Urban Grimshaw 68: The government tried to kid on that we lived in a harmonious multi-cultural society.

3. (Aus. und.) to imprison.

[Aus]Sydney Punch 1 Oct. 7/2: ‘[H]e’d just come out of the Jug - been kidded on for snatching sawney for grub, and got three stretch’.

4. see sense 1 above.

kid oneself (up) (v.)

to delude oneself.

[UK]Sporting Times 3 May 1/3: He utilised his winnings as groundbait for flats who were fly enough to kid themselves that they could clean him out and leave him granite-rocked at banker, shove-halfpenny, and penny nap.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘The Intro’ in Songs of a Sentimental Bloke 19: Yes, me, that kids meself I know their ways, / An’ ’as a name for smoogin’ in our click!
[US]F. Packard White Moll 19: Don’t kid yerself dat youse’re kiddin’ me into givin’ it to youse because youse have got a pretty smile an’ a sweet voice!
[US]D. Runyon ‘Breach of Promise’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 24: She either is not as smart as she looks or is kidding herself.
[US]R. Chandler High Window 90: ‘Must take a good man to run them fast babies.’ ‘Don’t kid yourself, dad.’.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 14 Oct. in Proud Highway (1997) 405: We no longer even kid ourselves about being the bearers of a great and decent dream.
[Aus](con. 1930s) F. Huelin ‘Keep Moving’ 2: My self-appointed mentor brushed this aside derisively. ‘Don’t kid yourself about that, mate.’.
kid the pants off (v.)

to tease mercilessly.

[US]D. Fuchs Low Company 9: B’gee, if a dame said that to me, I’d kid the pants off her.
[US]E. O’Neill Iceman Cometh Act I: We’ll kid the pants off him.
[US]S. Lewis Kingsblood Royal (2001) 236: I meant to kid the pants off you, Cap, but you’re all right.
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 82–3: I really like it best when you can kid the pants off a girl when the opportunity arises.
no kidding (also no kid!)

1. (US) used interrog. or emphatically, i.e. ‘Are you serious?’ or ‘I’m absolutely serious’.

[UK]Derby Day 48: Something’s upset you, Littl’un [...] what’s the fakement. Let’s have it straightforward, and no kid.
[UK]J. Hatton Cruel London III 167: Honour bright, no kid, as we say in London.
[UK]Sporting Times 30 Jan. 6/1: ‘Your ’Umble is cheap to-day, and no kid, all owing to a little party which I gave last night’.
[UK]A. Morrison Tales of Mean Streets (1983) 34: ‘Straight,’ said Billy, ‘I’ll sport ye one. . . . No kid, I will.’.
[UK]Marvel XIV:343 June 15: No kid, the kick-up at Blinkers was tall.
[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 269: I’ve known fair topping daddies at the plant – no kid!
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 5 July 9/1: B.C., the famous racing tipster [...] will have some red hotties for [the] next meeting. Watch him noys, and no kid.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 21 Jan. 13/3: he was a fair dinkum John and no kid.
[US]N. Putnam West Broadway 98: It come to me how well we was eating, and — no kidding — we could seldom eat over half a dollar’s worth.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 404: Fine! Got a prime pair of mincepies, no kid.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 34: Honest! No kidding!
[US]H. Roth Call It Sleep (1977) 430: ‘He’s awright! He’s awright!’ ‘Yeah?’ ‘Yeah! No kiddin! No kiddin!’.
[US]S. Kingsley Dead End Act III: No kid!
[UK]G. Kersh They Die with Their Boots Clean 122: No kiddin’, Sarnt? Don’t yer know?
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 25: No kidding, Milton, do you like this music?
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 34: Give her to me, boy. No kidding. She’s my type.
[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 130: But what the hell, forty isn’t old. No kid.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 64: ‘No goddam kiddin!’ Jimmy snapped at him.
[UK]P. Fordham Inside the Und. 29: I could have done ’er and no kidding.
[UK]P. Theroux London Embassy 84: Hey, I had a good time [...] No kidding.
[US]C. Hiaasen Lucky You 120: ‘No kidding?’ ‘Don’t look so shocked.’.
[UK]M. Newall ‘Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knight’ in Indep. Weekend Rev. 26 Dec. 1: No kyddinge, this was a honey-monstre.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 11: Yeah? Brake fluid? No kidding. Beth says ice.

2. used as adj. genuine, unarguable.

[US]D. Winslow ‘Sunset’ in Broken 183: A maid, in an honest-to-God, no-kidding maid’s uniform.