verb (inf=to kid on the square, kids on the square, kidding on the square, kidded on the square)
|kid on the square
- To be joking, but at the same time really mean it.
Etymology: Although dating back to the early 20th century, the phrase was popularized by w:Al Franken, Al Franken in his book w:Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them when he describes the negative reaction of w:Paul Wolfowitz, Paul Wolfowitz to one of his jokes.
1907, Alfred Damon Runyon, "The Defense of Strikerville" in McClure?'s Magazine vol. 28 http://books.google.com/books?id=z4l7AdAwEIYC, page 379:
- "I'm kiddin' on the square," said Hanks.
1977, Dan Rather and Mickey Herskowitz, The Camera Never Blinks http://books.google.com/books?id=ZMsQob3ZSSAC, ISBN 0688031846, page 66:
- So I always knew what Pierce meant, in a kidding-on-the-square kind of way.
2006, Stuart Ostrow, Present at the Creation http://books.google.com/books?id=IkVyEUE3QXYC, ISBN 1557836469, page 46:
- "At least he likes historical characters," I kidded on the square. No one laughed so I went to work recruiting other directors.
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