What does ‘I’m pulling your leg’ mean?

Do you know what it means when someone says ‘I’m pulling your leg’?

If you hear this idiom, it means the speaker has said something that is a joke and isn’t true.  

The speaker is probably trying to tease you in a friendly way.  So, ‘I’m pulling your leg’ is similar to phrases like ‘I’m just joking’ or ‘I’m only kidding.’  Here are some examples using ‘pull your leg’:

I’m only pulling your leg.  I don’t really have a pet snake in my garage.

 Don’t worry about what Mike said. He’s not really a policeman.  He was just pulling your leg.

 She’s pulling your leg.  She doesn’t really expect you to do all the cooking.

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Usually you can tell if someone’s pulling your leg.  Often the thing they are saying is difficult to believe or unrealistic.  They might also be smiling when they say it.  

If you think someone is pulling your leg, try replying with ‘Hahaha, pull the other one!’  But if you are not sure, try smiling and saying ‘Are you pulling my leg?’ or ‘You’re just joking right?’

Be careful not to mistake this idiom with ‘shake a leg.’  This idiom is different and means you want somebody to do something quickly.  For example, ‘Come on! Shake a leg! We’re going to be late for the party.’

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