Word Origin & History
O.E. tæsan "pluck, pull apart" (fibers of wool, flax, etc.), from W.Gmc. *taisijanan (cf. Dan. tæse, M.Du. tesen, Du. tezen "to draw, pull, scratch," O.H.G. zeisan "to tease, pick wool"). The original sense is of running thorns through wool or flax to separate, shred, or card the fibers.
The figurative sense of "vex, worry, annoy" emerged 1619. For similar sense development, see heckle
. Hairdressing sense is recorded from 1957. Noun meaning "one who teases" is first recorded 1852; specifically as short for cock-teaser it was in use by 1976. Teaser "short sample, introductory advertisement" is attested from 1934