to poke fun at sb/sth

Alex   Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:32 pm GMT
Is there a slight difference in meaning between 'to poke fun at sb/sth' and 'to make fun of sb/sth'? Or can they be used synonymously?
Guest   Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:12 am GMT
In my parts, the connotation of "poke fun at" is more of an innocent, friendly tone. For example, you would "poke fun at your friend's driving," without being overly mean.

Whereas "make fun of" has a more cruel, less friendly connotation. So you would say "she made fun of my clothes", which implies more cruelty, stronger ridicule.

But really there isn't that much difference. It's rather slight. It's more about the context in which you use it. It seems more appropriate to use "poke fun" in a slight, less intense context vs "make fun", which is more appropriate for a more intense situation.
Astral   Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:23 am GMT
darn, that last post was by me, "Astral"