I'm trying to say that my classmates "tease" me for always having so much enthusiasm regardless of the amount of work we have. My goal is to show that my enthusiam is a good thing. Is tease a good word here? Is there a better alternative?

  • "Teasing" is fine in this context. If you want to be explicit, you could refer to "good-natured teasing." – user888379 Nov 29 '19 at 18:33
  • @user888379 I think the OP us trying to describe the teases in a way that changes their meaning by it. So not so much saying, "y'all are doing some good natured teasing " but rather, "cool, being enthusiastic is a compliment... " – user353675 Nov 30 '19 at 5:03
  • 1
    Maybe you could say something like, "you think you are making fun of me, but you're really praising me" – user353675 Nov 30 '19 at 5:19

They pull your leg about it.

It is a well-known idiom which means precisely what you describe.

The following is an extract from the OED.

pull verb - phrases:

P7 a. to pull a person's leg: to deceive a person humorously or playfully; to tease a person.

1821 J. Gallatin Diary 3 May (1914) 184 I really think father, in a covert way, pulls his leg. I know he thinks little of his talents and less of his manners.

1883 Wellsboro (Pa.) Agitator 20 Feb. 1/5 The Chinese giant once told me he had half a dozen wives at home, but I think he was pulling my leg.

1888 W. B. Churchward ‘Blackbirding’ in S. Pacific 216 Then I shall be able to pull the leg of that chap Mike.

1905 Athenæum 22 July 122/3 We..suspect that some Irish harper was ‘pulling the author's leg’ when he gave it.

1946 C. Bush Case Second Chance i. 8 I tried to pull his leg about the grave loss he had suffered when the Army had called me up.

1976 F. A. Hoffmann in V. Randolph Pissing in Snow ix. 18 (note)
Everyone harbors the wish that he can be ready with an appropriate rejoinder when someone attempts to pull his leg or make him the butt of a joke.

2000 I. Welsh in N. Hornby Speaking with Angel 174 He punched me lightly on the shoulder.—C'mon Joe, I'm only pulling your leg,..he said.

  • This involves deception, teasing can involve deception also. It's not what the OP is looking for, it wouldn't make sense in that context. If someone says, "geez, you're so enthusiastic all the time" and the response is, "you're pulling my leg". That would mean they think they aren't being serious. But the OP does think they are being serious, just making fun of the OP about it. – user353675 Nov 30 '19 at 4:52
  • @user47014 If I make a slightly sarcastic, but friendly, remark about your enthusiasm - I am pulling your leg. e.g. "Jim, we can always rely on you to put the dampers on things". – WS2 Nov 30 '19 at 7:37
  • that might be a specific example but the OP did not say that was the case here, it doesn't apply to all instances of making fun of. – user353675 Nov 30 '19 at 11:17

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