Etymology
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snicker (v.)
"laugh in a half-suppressed way," 1690s, possibly of imitative origin, similar to Dutch snikken "to gasp, sob." Related: Snickered; snickering.
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guffaw (n.)
1720, Scottish, probably imitative of the sound of coarse laughter. Compare gawf (early 16c.) "loud, noisy laugh." The verb is from 1721. Related: Guffawed; guffawing.
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cackle (n.)
1670s, "sound made by a hen or goose," from cackle (v.). From 1856 as "a short laugh." Cackleberries, slang for "eggs" is first recorded 1880.
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derisory (adj.)

"characterized by mocking or ridicule," 1610s, from Latin derisorius, from derisor "derider," agent noun from deridere "to ridicule," from de "down" (see de-) + ridere "to laugh" (see risible).

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comedian (n.)

1580s, "comic poet," later (c. 1600) "actor in stage comedies," also, generally, "actor;" from French comédien, from comédie (see comedy). Meaning "professional joke-teller, entertainer who performs to make the audience laugh" is from 1898. Old English had heahtorsmið "laughter-maker."

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cackle (v.)
early 13c., imitative of the noise of a hen (see cachinnation); perhaps partly based on Middle Dutch kake "jaw," with frequentative suffix -el (3). As "to laugh," 1712. Related: Cackled; cackling.
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derisive (adj.)

1620s, "expressing or characterized by derision," with -ive + Latin deris-, past participle stem of deridere "to ridicule," from de "down" (see de-) + ridere "to laugh" (see risible). Meaning "ridiculous, causing derision" is from 1896. Related: Derisively; derisiveness.

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fleer (v.)
"grin mockingly," c. 1400, perhaps from Scandinavian (compare dialectal Norwegian flira "giggle, laugh at nothing," dialectal Danish flire "to grin, sneer, titter"). Transitive sense from 1620s. Related: Fleered; fleering; fleeringly. As a noun from c. 1600.
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derision (n.)

"ridicule, mockery, subjection to ridicule or mockery," c. 1400, from Old French derision "derision, mockery" (13c.), from Latin derisionem (nominative derisio) "a laughing to scorn, mockery," noun of action from past-participle stem of deridere "ridicule," from de "down" (see de-) + ridere "to laugh" (see risible).

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Abderian (n.)

by 1650s, "of or pertaining to Abdera," in Thrace, whose citizens were proverbial as provincials who would laugh at anything or anyone they didn't understand (Abderian laughter), making their town the Hellenic equivalent of Gotham (q.v.). Especially (or alternatively) as it was the birthplace of Democritus the atomist, the "Laughing Philosopher" (born c. 460 B.C.E.) who observed human follies.

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