14 Other Ways to Say “Just Kidding”

Other Ways to Say Just Kidding

In the motley spectrum of communication, catchy jokes and light-hearted comments often punctuate our dialogues, adding a layer of warmth and humor.

A common phrase used in such an exchange is “just kidding,” a light-hearted disclaimer that follows an irritating comment or joke. It’s a way to signal that no offense or harm was intended while keeping the conversation lighthearted.

In this article, we’ll explore other ways to say “just kidding” that can enrich our conversations with more precise expressions of our intent, ensuring our playful messages are received with the understanding and the spirit with which they’re delivered.

Other Ways to Say “Just Kidding”

Playful Disclaimers

These phrases are ideal for ensuring that the humorous intent behind a statement is understood, preventing misunderstandings in both personal and casual professional interactions.

1. Pulling Your Leg

Example: “I was just pulling your leg about being scared of clowns.”

Meaning: A classic way to indicate that you were making a joke, suggesting a playful attempt to deceive in a harmless manner.

Usage: Best used in informal settings among friends or family where the relationship allows for such jests.

2. Just Teasing

Example: “I was just teasing about taking your dessert. Yours is safe with me!”

Meaning: Lightly indicates that the previous statement was made in jest, aiming to provoke a playful reaction.

Usage: Suitable for light-hearted exchanges where the context clearly supports a teasing tone.

3. I’m Just Messing with You

Example: “You believed that? I’m just messing with you!”

Meaning: Conveys that the speaker was intentionally provoking a reaction for amusement, with no genuine intent behind the statement.

Usage: Great for casual conversations where both parties enjoy a bit of back-and-forth banter.

4. Fooling Around

Example: “Don’t take it to heart; I was just fooling around when I said your favorite band was terrible.”

Meaning: Implies a casual, non-serious attitude towards the subject, indicating that the speaker was merely playing.

Usage: Appropriate in informal, close-knit settings where the playful nature is easily understood.

5. Not Serious

Example: “I hope you know I wasn’t serious about that spooky ghost story.”

Meaning: A straightforward declaration that the preceding statement was not meant to be taken as truth.

Usage: Useful for clarifying after telling a tale or making a statement that could be misconstrued as genuine.

girls laughing

Humor Clarifiers

Humor Clarifiers serve to highlight that a comment was intended to be humorous or not taken seriously.

6. I Kid, I Kid

Example: “Of course, I think you’re a great singer. I kid, I kid!”

Meaning: Emphasizes the jesting nature of the comment, often used after a statement that could be taken the wrong way.

Usage: Useful for quickly smoothing over any potential misunderstandings that a joke might cause.

7. Only Joking

Example: “You thought I was serious? No, I was only joking!”

Meaning: Directly states that the preceding remark was not to be taken seriously, aiming to clarify any confusion.

Usage: Effective in situations where there’s a risk the joke might be misunderstood as a serious comment.

8. In Jest

Example: “My comments about your cooking were all in jest!”

Meaning: Indicates that the comments were made playfully, without serious intent.

Usage: Ideal for emphasizing that a teasing or critical remark was not meant to be taken to heart.

9. Totally Joking

Example: “You actually believed that? I was totally joking!”

Meaning: Emphasizes the jesting intent behind a statement, indicating complete absence of seriousness.

Usage: Effective for clear-cut delineation between jest and earnestness, particularly when the joke is not immediately obvious.

10. Said in Jest

Example: “My comment about your singing was said in jest, I promise!”

Meaning: Specifies that a comment was made for comedic effect, not as a critique.

Usage: Suitable when needing to reassure someone that a potentially sensitive remark was meant humorously.

Amicable Amendments

They emphasize the friendly, benign nature of the exchange, reinforcing bonds and clarifying that any teasing was done in good spirits.

11. Just Having a Laugh

Example: “I didn’t mean anything by it, just having a laugh!”

Meaning: Assures the listener that the intention was merely to share a moment of humor.

Usage: Best for diffusing any tension that may have arisen from a joke, reassuring the listener of friendly intentions.

12. All in Good Fun

Example: “It was all in good fun, no harm meant.”

Meaning: Highlights that the jest was intended to be enjoyable and not hurtful or offensive.

Usage: Suitable for reaffirming the amiable nature of the jest, especially in mixed company where sensitivities might vary.

13. Laughing With You

Example: “I’m laughing with you, not at you—just a bit of fun!”

Meaning: Clarifies that the humor was shared and not at the expense of the listener, promoting a mutual enjoyment of the joke.

Usage: Helps in situations where the jest might be taken as mockery, reinforcing the communal nature of the laughter.

14. It’s All Banter

Example: “Don’t worry, it’s all banter. You know I think you’re great at this.”

Meaning: Identifies the exchange as friendly teasing, common in social interactions, with no ill intent.

Usage: Best used in environments like the workplace or among friends where banter is part of the relationship dynamic.

14 Other Ways to Say Just Kidding Infographic

When to Use Different “Just Kidding” Alternatives

Here’s a guideline to help you decide which playful phrase to use:

Casual Settings with Friends and Family

In informal gatherings or conversations where the atmosphere is light-hearted and familiar, expressions from the “Teasing Tidbits” category fit perfectly. Phrases like “I’m just pulling your leg” or “Just messing with you” are great for sparking laughter and keeping the mood jovial among loved ones.

Social Gatherings and Light-hearted Professional Environments

During social gatherings or in less formal professional settings where humor is appreciated, “Playful Disclaimers” like “I’m just teasing!” or “Don’t take me too seriously” work well. They help maintain a friendly rapport while ensuring everyone is in on the joke, preventing any possible offense.

When Clarification is Needed

Sometimes, a joke might not land as expected, or the audience may not immediately realize you were joking. In such cases, “Humor Clarifiers” such as “I was only kidding” or “Just kidding!” are essential to quickly clarify your intentions and keep the conversation on a positive track.


The phrase “just kidding” is a staple in our conversational toolkit, serving as a gentle reminder not to take life too seriously.

Whether you’re in a casual setting with friends, navigating the nuances of a light-hearted professional environment, or finding your way back from a misunderstood jest, selecting the right way to convey you’re “just kidding” can make all the difference.

Explore more about language subtleties and enhance your communication skills with resources like Grammarly and the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus.

Categorized as Casual

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