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)?
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).
[1970s+] the art of teasing or fooling a victim, esp. with the intent of obtaining something from them.
[late 17C] (UK und.) to kidnap.
[1940s+] you can’t be serious, surely you’re joking.
[1950s+] (orig. US) a phr. implying that the speaker is being absolutely serious.
1. to tease, esp. with a long and apparently feasible story.
2. (also kid up) to deceive, to hoax.
1. to encourage someone else to do something.
2. to tease, to deceive.
3. see sense 1 above.
[mid-19C+] to delude oneself.
[1930s+] to tease mercilessly.
[late 19C+] (US) used interrog. or emphatically, i.e. ‘Are you serious?’ or ‘I’m absolutely serious’.
see are you kidding?