tongue in cheek

a tongue in (one's) cheek
with (one's) tongue in (one's) cheek

неискренно, лицемерно; иронически или насмешливо, издевательски, с издевкой
say sth tongue in cheek
If you say sth tongue in cheek, you don't mean it, you are trying to be funny

My friend suggested that as I was such a good football player I should play in the national team. But of course it was said very much (with) tongue in cheek (=he wasn't serious). - ...Разумеется, он пошутил/сказал это в шутку (м.б., с долей иронии)

с долей иронии
tongue-in-cheek (adj) иронический, насмешливый, издевательский
The magazine published a wonderful tongue-in-cheek review of his latest work.