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A teenager is acting in a very silly and annoying way making faces and rapidly changing his postures. His father gets really annoyed by it and tells him "Stop aping!"

Does "Stop aping!" go okay here or it's a bit unnatural? If the latter is true, what would you say in that situation? (American English preferred)

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That's brilliant. –  ApprenticeHacker Jan 15 '12 at 16:13
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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

To ape means, generally, to imitate, and thus isn't appropriate in this context.

The father might tell his son to stop monkeying around, which really just means fooling around. Horsing around is another option.

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Yup. "Stop aping me" is perfectly idiomatic, but doesn't mean what the OP wants it to mean. –  Marthaª Jan 15 '12 at 16:01
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As onomatomaniak says, it's not appropriate in the context as aping means imitating.

Other things the father might say:

  • "Stop clowning around!"
  • "Stop fooling around!"
  • "Stop joshing around!"
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Your third example is less suitable than the others, as josh ("To tease someone in a kindly fashion; to make or exchange good-natured jokes") is verbal not physical. –  jwpat7 Jan 15 '12 at 18:51
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Cut the tomfoolery son, or I'll take a switch to your backside! –  Wayfaring Stranger Jan 15 '12 at 20:05
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