The 8 Different Types Of Laughter


Types Of Laughter

Everyone likes to laugh! When we can enjoy a belly-aching giggle, it improves our day, plus the days of those around us.

At A Glance

  1. Silent laughter
  2. Nervous laughter
  3. Etiquette laughter
  4. Contagious laughter
  5. Pigeon laughter
  6. Snorting laughter
  7. Fake laughter
  8. Belly laughter

But did you know that there’s more than one kind of laughter? Here are the eight different types of laughter you should know about especially if you’re a comedian

See Related: 4 Ways To Promote A Positive Workplace Culture

#1. Silent Laughter

Laughter is about more than responding to your friend’s new joke. It’s about connecting with those around you and can even bring about other benefits, such as stress relief.

Laughing can release endorphins in your brain, which triggers good feelings and improved moods. Even faking laughter can do great things for your overall health, both mentally and physically.

That brings us to our first kind of laughing: silent laughter. And yes, it is exactly what it says. It’s silent.

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When you get the urge to laugh when you know you shouldn’t, you likely need to stifle it and hold in those pesky giggles. This can leave you laughing silently, so no one around you can tell you’re secretly chortling on the inside!

Those of you that work in an office space have likely mastered the art of silent laughter. So when you’re scrolling social media on your break and come across a funny meme, it’s hard not to laugh out loud. That’s when silently laughing can come in handy.

But you don’t always need to hold in your laughter during work. Treating your team to a company event is a great way to keep your employees entertained and give them a chance to laugh loudly.

With Clean Comedians®, finding an event speaker that will be hilarious, unique, and entertaining is easy. Plus, all our speakers are clean so that the jokes won’t be dirty or crude. That’s what true laughter is about!

#2. Nervous Laughter

Laughter isn’t always a wholly positive reaction. Many of us have experienced laughter in a not-so-funny way. When we feel nervous or anxious, it’s natural to laugh sometimes.

This is known as nervous laughter. It can help us cope with stress or anxiety in a bid to calm down. Though excessive nervous laughter can end up being awkward and uncomfortable, a little bit can help us make light of a tense situation.

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#3. Etiquette Laughter

This is also known as polite laughter. Have you ever heard a joke that wasn’t that funny, but your friend is patiently waiting for your reaction? That’s when you politely laugh at their joke.

In situations where it is polite to laugh, you will likely engage in etiquette laughter. Laughter helps us communicate and connect with others, so even if we don’t genuinely feel like laughing, sometimes it is best to smile and giggle a bit!

Bonus: 4 Fun Ways To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day In The Office

#4. Contagious Laughter

As humans, we have a habit of imitating the people around us. So if someone we are close to is mad, we feel a similar frustration. And if those around us are laughing, we will likely start laughing too!

Contagious laughter is one of the best kinds of laughter out there. Because, yes, laughter is contagious!

Think about the last time someone started laughing at the dinner table. Or maybe someone laughed as you walked into the office. It’s easy for laughter to spread and even easier when the joke is funny!

Describe laughter humor laugh sounds

#5. Pigeon Laughter

Here’s a kind of laughter you likely didn’t know had a name. And no, it doesn’t have much to do with pesky pigeons.

Pigeon laughing involves laughing without opening your mouth. It’s often used in laughter therapy or laughter yoga. When you laugh with your lips closed, you often can feel your lips buzz, and you’ll make a humming sound – much like a pigeon!

#6. Snorting Laughter

Not all laughter is about holding it in. On the contrary, letting it go is one of the greatest feelings in the world!

When you can really enjoy your laughter, it can help reawaken your happier and more creative side. So, whenever you can, laugh out loud.

And some of us, when we let our laughter go, can snort. This can happen when we laugh through our noses. 

But if you are a snorter, don’t stifle it – embrace it! Around 25% of women and 33% of men also laugh out of their noses.

We also all likely know a friend who snorts when they laugh. And it always seems to keep everyone laughing around them. So let the good feelings flow!

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#7. Fake Laughter

If you are in an awkward situation where you know you should laugh, you likely faked it. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Unfortunately, we can’t always force ourselves to find humor in every dad joke our coworkers make.

Often, if you find yourself in an awkward situation, you may try to save yourself by giggling. And this can work plenty of times. 

But that doesn’t mean you genuinely want to laugh. That’s why it’s called fake laughter!

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#8. Belly Laughter

Here’s the most honest kind of comedic laughter out there. Belly laughter happens when we find something genuinely funny, and our laughter may end with us clutching our stomachs!

Because we all laugh differently, you might not literally laugh from your belly. Instead, it may be a chortle or a snort or two. But when you genuinely feel the humor, it’s called belly laughter.

Keep Reading: The 5 Best Comedians Of All Time

Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.