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Small Donate ButtonTo make fun of someone = to laugh at someone / to make jokes about someone.
This is quite a well known phrase but there are other phrases that mean the same thing. Do you know them all?

Hello, this is Luke Thompson and you’re listening to ‘A Phrasal Verb a Day’ and here is your phrasal verb for today or tomorrow. You can listen to it tomorrow if you want or, in fact, any day. It’s not just something you have to listen to today but anyway I’m recording it for you today and I’m giving it to you today and I suppose that you’re listening to it today. It might be a different day to the day that I’m recording it. Anyway, today’s phrasal verb is ‘to make fun of someone’, to make fun of someone. You could also make fun of something but usually you say ‘to make fun of someone’, okay? ‘To make fun of someone’ means to laugh at someone or to make jokes about someone, okay? You could also say ‘to tease someone’, maybe even ‘to pick on someone’. So:


meaning: ‘Are you teasing me?’ Other phrases might be ‘to pull someone’s leg’ but that… if you pull someone’s leg it means that you’re kind of playing a trick on someone. Usually it means that you’re lying to them just as a joke, you know. For example you’d say:

– I’ve just got a call from the Queen and she is visiting your house in five minutes in order to have some tea with you, so you’d better buy some much better quality tea and biscuits.
– No, no. I’m not. It’s true.

Okay, that’s an example ‘to pull someone’s leg’ but the phrase is ‘to make fun of someone’, okay. I think it’s pretty simple. I think most of you probably know this phrase already, so let’s just look at some other ways you can say the same thing.


It’s not fair I think TO MAKE FUN OF certain people, right? Like, I mean I see lots of stand-up comedy. When I do shows sometimes I’ve noticed that people make… choose TO MAKE FUN OF other people. I think for example it’s not really fair TO MAKE FUN OF homeless people. I mean they are much lower in status than you so it’s… I don’t find it very funny when comedians MAKE FUN OF homeless people. Obviously it depends on the way in which they do it. It’s not fair TO MAKE FUN OF people in wheelchairs for example. Okay, that’s just a couple of examples of the phrase. We also had ‘to pick on someone’, to pick on someone and that means TO MAKE FUN OF SOMEONE but maybe in a slightly cruel or nasty way like:

Children often will PICK ON each other. They will find something about another kid that they don’t like, that they think is ridiculous and they all make jokes about it in order to make that kid feel a little bit bad.

So, that’s ‘to pick on someone’. We also say ‘to take the piss out of someone’. That’s a little bit rude. It’s a kind of bit of British English slang.

– Are you taking a piss out of me?

You know, ‘don’t take the piss’ meaning ‘don’t make fun of someone’. But that’s a bit rude. Watch out for the word ‘piss’. It’s a little bit of a rude word. Alternatively you could say ‘to take the Mickey out of someone’.


meaning ‘Are you joking?’, ‘Are you making fun of me?’. There you go. Alright? So, it’s ‘to make fun of someone’ to tease someone. ‘Tease’ is like ‘to pick on someone’. The same thing.

– Don’t tease… Stop teasing each other.

for example. ‘To pick on someone’, ‘to pull someone’s leg’, ‘to take the piss out of someone’ and ‘to take the Mickey out of someone’ and that’s the end of this phrasal verb. Don’t forget you can leave comments as a way of practising if you want to. I suggest that you write a sentence or two using each of these phrasal verbs. It’s quite good as a way of just practising because not only do you need to understand all of these phrases you need to be able use them. So, think about using that phrase in the past tense, you know. They took… What is it?


Think about using it with other verbs.


for example. Think about using it in the future.

– I hope that they’re not going TO MAKE FUN OF ME

OK. Just think about using it in variety of different ways not just in one simple present simple sentence. Use it in the past simple. Try and combine with future tenses. Mix it up with other words, for example:

– I hope they don’t TAKE THE PISS OUT OF ME for this.


– I really hope that no one winds up MAKING FUN OF ME

you know.

– They kept MAKING FUN OF ME

– People have always MADE FUN OF ME because of my hair

for example. Okay. That’s it for this episode of ‘A Phrasal Verb a Day’. I’m going to keep… I’m going to try to keep doing this as often as possible. Don’t worry, I haven’t stopped doing it. OK, speak to you again soon. Bye.

Thanks to MrDudek for providing the transcript – and managing the phrasal verb google documents. You sir, are a gentleman.