Etymology
Advertisement
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.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
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).

Related entries & more 
snicker (v.)

"laugh in a half-suppressed way," 1690s, possibly of imitative origin; it is similar to Dutch snikken "to gasp, sob;" also compare the horse's nicker. Related: Snickered; snickering.

Related entries & more 
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."

Related entries & more 
ventriloquy (n.)

1580s, from Late Latin ventriloquus, from Latin venter (genitive ventris) "belly" (see ventral) + loqui "to speak" (from PIE root *tolkw- "to speak"). Related: Ventriloquial; ventriloquize.

Patterned on Greek engastrimythos, literally "speaking in the belly," which was not originally an entertainer's trick but rather a rumbling sort of internal speech, regarded as a sign of spiritual inspiration or (more usually) demonic possession. Reference to the modern activity so called seems to have begun early 18c., and by 1797 it was being noted that this was a curiously inappropriate word to describe throwing the voice.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
laughter (n.)

late 14c., from Old English hleahtor "laughter; jubilation; derision," from Proto-Germanic *hlahtraz (source also of Old Norse hlatr, Danish latter, Old High German lahtar, German Gelächter); see laugh (v.).

Related entries & more 
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.

Related entries & more 
bulk (n.)

mid-15c., "a heap; the volume or bulk of something," earlier "ship's cargo" (mid-14c.), from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse bulki "a heap; ship's cargo," from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell."

The meaning was extended by early confusion with obsolete bouk "belly" (from Old English buc "body, belly," from Proto-Germanic *bukaz; see bucket), which led to sense of "size, volume, magnitude of material substance," attested from mid-15c. In bulk 1670s, "loaded loose." The meaning "the greater part" (of anything) is by 1711.

Related entries & more 
tribal (adj.)

1630s, "pertaining to or characteristic of tribes," from tribe + -al (1). Meaning "characterized by a strong sense of loyalty to one's group" is from 1951 (Arendt). As a style of belly-dance from 1999, American English. Related: Tribally.

Related entries & more 
underbelly (n.)

c. 1600, from under + belly (n.). In figurative sense of "most vulnerable part" it is recorded from Churchill's 1942 speech. Sometimes used erroneously or euphemistically in sense of "seamy or sordid part" of anything.

Related entries & more 

Page 6