Green’s Dictionary of Slang

kid v.

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

1. [19C–1900s] (also kid on) to persuade.

2. [19C+] 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)?

In derivatives

kidment (n.) [sfx -ment] [mid–late 19C]

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.

2. any inducement to dishonesty or crime.

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

4. a begging letter.

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

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]

[1970s+] the art of teasing or fooling a victim, esp. with the intent of obtaining something from them.

In phrases

kid (away) (v.)

[late 17C] (UK und.) to kidnap.

are you kidding? (also you have to be kidding)

[1940s+] you can’t be serious, surely you’re joking.

I kid you not

[1950s+] (orig. US) a phr. implying that the speaker is being absolutely serious.

kid along (v.) [1910s+]

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

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

kid on (v.) [mid-19C+]

1. to encourage someone else to do something.

2. to tease, to deceive.

3. see sense 1 above.

kid oneself (up) (v.)

[mid-19C+] to delude oneself.

kid the pants off (v.)

[1930s+] to tease mercilessly.

no kidding (also no kid!)

[late 19C+] (US) used interrog. or emphatically, i.e. ‘Are you serious?’ or ‘I’m absolutely serious’.