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The phrase is quite popular but I wish to know its origin. Is it possible that it has something to do with childbirth (also called kidding)?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Time for OED!

It seems to come from ‘make a kid of,' according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

So when I kid you, I am fooling you, and using your innocence (a childlike quality).

Or maybe I am treating you like a child.


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+1 as I had no idea. I always assumed it came from behaving like a kid, as in I am joking around so I'm acting like a kid. –  Nieszka Jun 21 '12 at 14:07

Kid is also slang for a child. So: "kidding me" could have come from "being childish with someone" or "Lying to someone" or "Childishly joking with someone" in a sense.

-Look! There's an elephant right behind you! -person turns around -Just kidding!

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