Idioms: Pull sb’s legs

by Greg and Ivy on May 22, 2011

I guess you would have come across this idiom sometime as it is one of many common idioms that are used everyday. Do you know what it means? Perhaps if you can see it in a conversation you might know what it means.

James: Riku won a million dollars the other day.  Did you hear about it?

Jane: What? Riku won a million dollars?! Come on, you must be pulling my leg.

We’ll continue the conversation below but first can you guess the meaning of the idiom from these sentences?

The meaning to deceive someone or joke with someone about something to make the other person think that something is true when it is not, mostly for fun.

Let’s continue the conversation…

James: Why would I pull your leg anyway? It’s true.  I heard it from Tom just this morning.

Jane: Ah! That makes sense, he was pulling your leg.  I’m sure of it.

James: Well, then there’s only one thing left to do.

Jane: What is it?

James: Call Tom and find out the truth, of course!

Jane: I’ll call him myself.

Jane (calling Tom): Hi Tom, just a quick word. I want to ask you a simple question.  Were you pulling James’s leg when you said that Riku has won a million dollars? You did.  Didn’t you?

Tom: Why would I pull James’ s leg? I’m not that mean.  Riku did win a million dollars.

Jane: Oh! I just couldn’t believe it.  That’s all.  Sorry.

Tom: Never mind.  Now you know.

Jane: Yeah.  Thanks.

James: So, what did Tom say?

Jane: You’re right.  Riku did become a millionaire.  Fancy that! I never thought that he’ll become a millionaire.

Well, there you are.  Now it is your turn to practice.  Practise as much as possible in your conversations.  You can start by adding your own conversation example in the comment section below! Go for it!

Photo Credit: Tinou Bao

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Idioms: Rings a bell

by Greg and Ivy on January 2, 2011

bellLet’s say that someone says, “The name Barcelona rings a bell but I can’t remember where it is”, would you understand what they mean? Stay around if you do not know what it means. Another way of saying this idiom is to use it with the word ‘any’ in it. Such as, “Does it ring any bells?”

Let’s look at a longer example and see if you can guess the meaning of the expression by reading around it.

Henry: Mary, Tom is off on holidays. Isn’t he? Rita was telling me that Tom told her that he might be going somewhere sunny. Do you know anything more about it?
Mary: Now that you bring it up, Tom saying that he wanted go somewhere warm does ring a bell. He was speaking fondly of Copacabana. I have a feeling that that’s where he went.
Henry: Lucky guy! I would love to be there with him right this instant. Ipanema would be lovely too.
Mary: I know I’ve heard of Copacabana but Ipanema doesn’t ring any bells though.
Henry: Doesn’t it? It’s another famous tourist destination in Brazil.

Can you guess its meaning now? It simply means that something reminds you of something or is familiar. In other words, when someone tells you something or you see something, it reminds you of something or it is familiar to you.

Here’s another example:

Phil: Cherry, are you familiar with these travel procedures?
Cherry: I’m afraid they don’t ring any bells at all. I might have to ask Karen to show me how to do it.

Well, it’s now your turn to add some examples below…


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