Writing Smiles & Laughing

smile and laugh

Dialogue Laughing


ha ha













Aristocratic sounding laughter

sarcastic laugh

polite laugh

unmeant bored laugh


slightly immature, sly

negative emotion, surprised, confused

evil laugh

embarrassed and/or coy laugh

slightly naughty

genuine laugh, specially with an exclamation mark


slightly suggestive




 Silent & Audible signs of happiness and amusement


Snickering (disrespectful)

Giggle (silly)

Chuckle (brief and quiet)

Chortle (gleeful)


Cackling (loud high shrieking)



Roaring (loud boisterous laughter)


Die laughing


Snigger (like snicker)


Scoff (dismissively)








The different kinds of laughing

Nervous laugh: social defense that lightens the mood when you find yourself in a stressful situation

Polite laugh: a show of respect and a wish of belonging

Hearty laugh: genuine laugh

Burst of laughter: failed to contain a genuine laugh


The different kinds of smiles

Genuine smile / twinkle smile: the kind that brings a light to your eyes

Tight lip smile: fear, shyness, politeness, reserved mindset or the masking of true emotions. In this one, the lips are tightly stretched across the face forming a straight line and concealing the teeth, this smile is not so much used by liars as by people who have secrets or are withholding their true opinion or attitude towards something.

Smug smile: the self satisfied, arrogant and kinda of evil smile.

Half smile / smirk: The zygomatic muscles on the right side of the face for example, will pull the right side cheek and lip upwards.  However, because the right side of the brain controls the left side of the face, it will have an opposite effect of pulling downwards on the zygomatic muscles on the left side of the face, giving a smile/frown contradiction effect. It’s one of the main features of sarcasm – “an evil” or “smug” smile or one of mixed emotions. The yin-yang of smiles, this one features one side of the mouth slanting upward and the other one down. It is an expression of mixed emotions, like pleasure and hesitation or general ambivalence.

Open mouth smile with teeth: fake, this “upgraded” smile has a certain magic, especially in photographs – it instills the appearance of joy and carefree attitude.

Flirty (light) smile: It’s attractive because it shows enigmatic features. Biting the lips or licking them while smiling enhances the size and fullness of the lips and makes the smile appear more sexy and playful.

Grimace: similar to a smile and mainly found in the animal kingdom as a sign of fear.

Idiot’s grin: Abusing smiling loses its effect on others. After all, no one will believe a person who smiles all the time – he’s either an imbecile or a big phony.

Turn-away smile: Identified by Charles Darwin, this smile with half the face turning down and away and the other delicately revealed makes you seem younger and secretive in a captivating way. The shy smile is thought as being men’s favorite smile as its endearing affects induce paternal feelings, attracting the urge to protect and care for the female who is unleashing one of these smiles on them.

Dampened smile: which is a real smile where people attempt to suppress or conceal the extent of their positive emotions.

Wry smile: they know something you don’t


The effects of a smile in fiction

she smiled…

…a ready smile

… the same smile

… flash of a smile

…a disarming smile

… a distracting smile

…a grateful smile

… trying hard not to smile

… a smile that could melt steel

…wouldn’t see her smile

…flashed a smile

… a dazzling smile

… a big smile

… never seen her smile

… a weak smile

… a slow smile

… a hint of a smile

… a quick smile

… hasn’t seen her smile in years

… tried not to smile

… her brightest smile

…tried to smile

… a brief smile

… she didn’t smile

… made her smile

… forced a smile

… slapped a smile on her face

Elaborate smiles

Thing is I don’t know if it’s a wanting-to-please-teacher smile, or whether it’s a genuine I-want-to-get-to-know-you smile.

flashing an I’m-glad-I’m-not-you smile

She smiles, putting up her best defense. Not an annoyed smile; not a jaded smile; not even an angry get-outta-my-face-you-overhyper-little-gnat kinda smile. Just a nice, calming smile.

The receptionist smiled and nodded in that way people do when they aren’t listening.

I smiled in a cool way.

He glanced up and looked right into the camera, the smile he still wore dripping with a silent threat.