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Talking about practical jokes in English

Yesterday was April Fool's Day – a day when people play practical jokes on each other. These practical jokes can be simple (telling someone a small lie and hoping they will believe it) or more elaborate (involving lots of planning, for example). Newspapers such as the Guardian often run a spoof story (a story that isn't true) to catch out (= deceive) their readers.

Useful phrases for April Fool's

to pull someone's leg = to say something that isn't true (often to tease someone): "Don't believe what he's telling you. He's just pulling your leg!."

to play a joke on someone: "He loves April Fool's Day because then he's got an excuse to play jokes on people."

Useful phrases to refer to deception

to pull a fast one = to do something dishonest: "He's pulling a fast one at work. He's telling one manager he's working for another, then telling that manager he's working on a project for the other one. That way he doesn't have to do any work!"

to pull the wool over someone's eyes = to deceive someone: "You can't pull the wool over my eyes! I know you're lying to me!"

to take someone for a ride = to deceive someone so you can cheat them: "You shouldn't give him money to get you lunch. He's taking you for a ride when he says those sandwiches cost £5."

Phrases when you discover a practical joke

You really had me for a moment there! (I believed you for a short time)

You had me going for a bit. (I believed you for a short time.)

You nearly had me there! (I nearly believed you.)

I fell for that one. (You got me! I believed you.)

I am so gullible! (I believe everything everyone tells me…)

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