Mobile Banner


to laugh quietly


chuckle = kichern, schmunzeln, glucksen, in sich hineinlachen



“A five-year study of patients with leg ulcers has established that a hearty CHUCKLE stimulates the diaphragm which, in turn, plays a vital part in moving blood around the body.”

The Daily Mail

Did you

verb / noun

- to laugh quietly or to oneself
- a quiet laugh of mild amusement or satisfaction

The American Heritage Dictionary


Chuckle stems from the Middle English “chukken,” meaning to laugh noisily. Chukken is a so-called onomatopoeia, which is forming or using words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to. In this case from the sound a chicken makes. Chuckle belongs to a group of several imitative words that all refer to laughing. These include guffaw, cackle, hee-haw, tee-hee and titter.


“Waiting his turn to go through security at LAX on his way to Paris, Sam watched, with mounting sympathy, the plight of the man in front of him. He was short, plump, and jolly-looking. From the sound of his accent, he was German. He had made the mistake of smiling at the security agent and attempting a joke: ‘Today off with the shoes, tomorrow the underpants, eh?’

The stone-faced security agent stared at him in silence. And then, clearly suspecting the poor German of trying to smuggle a potentially dangerous sense of humour onto the aircraft, ordered him to step aside and wait for the supervisor.”

Peter Mayle - The Vintage Caper


- laughing quietly = cackle, chortle, giggle, grin like a Cheshire cat, guffaw, hee-haw, titter, snicker, snigger, sniggle, tee-hee, titter

- laughing loudly = be doubled up, be creased up, be in hysterics, be in stitches, be rolling in the aisles, bust a gut, crack up, crease up, fall about/howl/roar/shake with laughter, laugh like a drain, split one’s sides

PRACTICE OWAD in an English conversation, say something like:

“Every page of Peter Mayle makes me smile, CHUCKLE, or laugh out loud.”

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

Paul Smith

More Word Quizzes: