15 Different Ways To Describe Laughter: Do You Know Your Lingo?
In the english dictionary:
(Kuhn, 1994, as adapted by Berk, 2001)
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- Smirk: Slight, often fleeting upturning of the corners of the mouth, completely voluntary and controllable;
- Smile: Silent, voluntary and controllable, more perceptible than a smirk; begins to release endorphins;
- Grin: Silent, controllable, but uses more facial muscles (e.g., eyes begin to narrow);
- Snicker: First emergence of sound with facial muscles, but still controllable (if you hold in a snicker, it builds up gas);
- Giggle: Has a 50 percent chance of reversal to avoid a full laugh; sound of giggling is amusing; efforts to suppress it tend to increase its strength;
- Chuckle: Involves chest muscles with deeper pitch;
- Chortle: originates even deeper in the chest and involves muscles of torso; usually provokes laughter in others;
- Laugh: Involves facial and thoracic muscles as well as abdomen and extremities; sound of barking or snorting;
- Cackle: First involuntary stage; pitch is higher and body begins to rock, spine extends and flexes, with an upturning of head;
- Guffaw: Full body response; feet stomp, arms wave, thighs slapped, torso rocks, sound is deep and loud; may result in free flowing of tears, increased heart rate, and breathlessness; strongest solitary laughter experience;
- Howl: Volume and pitch rise higher and higher and body becomes more animated;
- Shriek: Greater intensity than howl; sense of helplessness and vulnerability;
- Roar: Lose individuality; i.e., the audience roars!
- Convulse: Body is completely out of control in a fit of laughter resembling a seizure; extremities flail aimlessly, balance is lost, gasp for breath, collapse or fall off chair;
- Die laughing: Instant of total helplessness; a brief, physically intense, transcendent experience; having died, we thereafter report a refreshing moment of breathlessness and exhaustion with colors more vivid and everything sparkling; everything is renewed.
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