to pick on

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - pick on

"to pick on"

to tease, bully, harass or victimize


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - pick on

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Why is it always my work that the boss criticizes to no end. Even when I do some good work, there is never a missed opportunity to harass me about how it could have been better or the points that I missed. It almost feels like it used to when I was bullied in school.

Colleague 2: So, you think the boss is picking on you?

Colleague 1: It sure feels that way.

Colleague 2: Don't take it personally. We have all had the opportunity to have the boss's attention directed our way.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - pick on

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: I hated school when I was a kid. I was always the youngest and smallest in every class. The bullies tormented me incessantly. They called me terrible names, hit me and generally terrorized me.

Friend 2: It is terrible when bigger kids harass and torment those who are unable to defend themselves.

Friend 1: I sure wish they would have picked on someone their own size.

Test Your Understanding  

to pick on - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   5,656   click for frequency by country

to pick on - Gerund Form:

Picking on the younger kids in school is what a bully does.

to pick on - Examples:

1)  Most bullies are trying to make themselves feel more important. When they pick on someone else, it can make them feel big and powerful.

2)  I'm too old for this crap so if anyone wants to come pick on someone there own size, feel free to find me.

3)  Seems like this guy chose the wrong blogger to pick on. You deserve a lot of credit for sticking to your principles here, ...

4)  One reason that children might be more apt to pick on their overweight classmates is that they are taking after adults, says Davis.

5)  ... mean-spirited and, as I've said before no one has the right to pick on people's reading material as long as they read anything can be a gateway ...

6)  Obviously you are just insecure about your own bust line so you have to pick on others. This article was pathetic.

7)  You're just a bunch of cowardly bullies that pick on people you deem inferior to what you believe.

8)  Let's use that on those who think it's okay to pick on their peers and drill it into them that it's wrong.

9)  ... working on changing attitudes in schools, teaching kids that it's wrong to pick on someone for their sexuality, and giving young LGBT people more confidence and a ...

10)  It is a shame that anytime something goes wrong, they pick on women and minorities.

11)  Gemma told her mom that this one kid was picking on her for having red hair and freckles. 

12)  He was consistently picking on me and offending my comments and ideals, mainly because I am not from ...

13)  When others are picking on you, you should stand up to them and let the teacher know.

14)  It's a case of a bully picking on someone small, which irks me to the core.

15)  It seems a lot of you out there are picking on the elderly, when most elderly drivers are perhaps better drivers than you!

16)  Bullying bothers everyone -- and not just the kids who are getting picked on. Bullying can make school a place of fear and can lead to more ...

17)  We had a tall freckle-faced kid on the team that we picked on until he quit.

18)  ... the new guy some slack because it was clear that as a kid you were picked on and bullied about on the playgrounds.

19)  ... sometimes I know someone could use a little help and understanding. They may be picked on or teased by others, or just sad or lonely.

20)  He was the kind of boy other kids picked on. He was not a good athlete. Other boys called him names.