chide

To chide someone is to ride them or get on their case, without really getting in their face.

People have been nagging since well before the 12th century, when the word chide came along as a new way to say "complain" or "rail." If you want to remind someone of a flaw they have or an error they keep repeating, you might chide them with sarcasm, humor, or some seriousness. Where a sharp elbow in the ribs lets you know "Stop it, right now!," a chide is more like a gentle elbow in the belly, saying "Come on, you're late; did you forget your watch again?"

Definitions of chide
  1. verb
    censure severely or angrily
    synonyms: bawl out, berate, call down, call on the carpet, chew out, chew up, dress down, have words, jaw, lambast, lambaste, lecture, rag, rebuke, remonstrate, reprimand, reproof, scathe, scold, take to task, trounce, vituperate
    see moresee less
    types:
    castigate, chasten, chastise, correct, objurgate
    censure severely
    brush down, tell off
    reprimand
    flame
    criticize harshly, usually via an electronic medium
    type of:
    criticise, criticize, knock, pick apart
    find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws
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