"to hiss or deride," 1920, from the noun, in to give (someone) the razz (by 1919), a shortened and altered variant of raspberry (q.v.) in its rhyming slang sense. Related: Razzed; razzing.
1680s, "make ridiculous" (a sense now obsolete); c. 1700, "treat with contemptuous merriment, make sport of, deride," from ridicule (n.) or else from French ridiculer, from ridicule. Chapman, for a verb, used ridiculize. Related: Ridiculed; ridiculing.
mid-15c., mokken, "make fun of," also "to trick, delude, make a fool of; treat with scorn, treat derisively or contemptuously;" from Old French mocquer "deride, jeer," a word of unknown origin. Perhaps from Vulgar Latin *muccare "to blow the nose" (as a derisive gesture), from Latin mucus; or possibly from Middle Dutch mocken "to mumble" or Middle Low German mucken "grumble." Perhaps ultimately it is imitative of such speech. Related: Mocked; mocking. Replaced Old English bysmerian. The sense of "imitate, simulate, resemble closely" (1590s, as in mockingbird ; also see mock (adj.)) is from the notion of derisive imitation.
Probably influenced by Old French escorne "affront, disgrace," which is a back-formation from escorner, literally "to break off (someone's) horns," from Vulgar Latin *excornare (source of Italian scornare "treat with contempt"), from Latin ex- "without" (see ex-) + cornu "horn" (see horn (n.)).
"to spoil, ruin," 1812, slang, from queer (adj.). Related: Queered; queering. Earlier it meant "to puzzle, ridicule, deride, cheat" (1790). To queer the pitch (1846) is in reference to the patter of an itinerant tradesman or showman (see pitch (n.1)).
These wanderers, and those who are still seen occasionally in the back streets of the metropolis, are said to 'go a-pitching ;' the spot they select for their performance is their 'pitch,' and any interruption of their feats, such as an accident, or the interference of a policeman, is said to 'queer the pitch,'—in other words, to spoil it. [Thomas Frost, "Circus Life and Circus Celebrities," London, 1875]
late 14c., from Old English (Anglian) hlæhhan, earlier hliehhan, hlihhan "to laugh, laugh at; rejoice; deride," from Proto-Germanic *klakhjan (source also of Old Norse hlæja, Danish le, Old Frisian hlakkia, Old Saxon hlahhian, Middle Dutch and Dutch lachen, Old High German hlahhan, German lachen, Gothic hlahjan), from PIE *kleg-, of imitative origin (compare Latin cachinnare "to laugh aloud," Sanskrit kakhati "laughs," Old Church Slavonic chochotati "laugh," Lithuanian klagėti "to cackle," Greek kakhazein).
Originally with a "hard" -gh- sound, as in Scottish loch; the spelling remained after the pronunciation shifted to "-f."
If laugh were written as it is pronounced, laaff, there would be nothing in the word itself to put us in mind of the thing signified. The imitation begins to be felt in the guttural ach of G. lachen, and is clearly indicated in the reduplicate form of the Du. lachachen, to hawhaw or laugh loud, preserved by Kilian. [Hensleigh Wedgwood, introduction to "A Dictionary of English Etymology," 1878]
To laugh in one's sleeve is to laugh inwardly so as not to be observed:
If I coveted nowe to avenge the injuries that you have done me, I myght laughe in my slyve. [John Daus, "Sleidanes Commentaries," 1560]
"The phrase generally implies some degree of contempt, and is used rather of a state of feeling than of actual laughter" [Century Dictionary]. Related: Laughed; laugher; laughing.