Laughter (haha, hehe)


Senior Member
Svediż tal-Finlandja
I've seen threads around for specific languages, how laughter is expressed in writing, but to my surprise this important dimension of life had no thread of its own. So, here, in what ways can you write laughter in your language, and what sort of laughter do the different ways express? Laugh away!
  • Chazzwozzer

    Senior Member
    • hahaha (very typical laughter, it's usually triple 'ha', not double)
    • hehehe (sound a bit more 'polite' than hahaha)
    • ha... ha... ha... (sarcastic)
    • hihihi (gigling)
    • ahahaha (got popular after a TV series character who used to laugh this way)
    • ehehehe (same as hehehe)
    • eki eki (used in comics, especially as the oldie way laughter)
    • keh keh/kah kah (sneaky-ish lughter)
    • muhaha (evil laughter)
    • nihaha (evil laughter)
    • puhaha (used if it's too amusing)
    • uhaha (almost like puhaha)
    • zuhaha (almost like puhaha)
    or, simply, as I mostly prefer; "LOL"

    I've seen Spanish speakers write "jajaja" and sometimes "jejeje" when they find something worth to laugh at.



    Senior Member
    Svediż tal-Finlandja
    I really like the Spanish jaja's, it sounds gurgling and nice! Moajaja is another, deeper and more evil-spirited, favourite.

    The Swedish options would be:

    haha (any plain laughter)
    hehe (more hissing)
    hihi (giggling)
    hoho (Santa Claus style)
    höhö (ironic)
    moahaha (the evil one)
    eheh (embarrassed)

    Except your common hahaha German has quite some exotic ways, namely
    hnhnhn, hmhmhm, chrchrchr (giggle)
    muhaha, ahehe, uhaha (sardonic)
    höhöhö (ironic)

    since there's no 'h' in the Russian alphabet the letter х is used (corresponds to Spanish j), dumb laughter is expressed with 'гыгыгы' (ghyghyghy)


    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    hehe (casual way of expressin laugh)
    haha (to me, it's more crude in reception can be ironic)



    Senior Member
    There are lots and lots of ways to "laugh out loud" in Hungarian, here are the most common ones:

    • hahaha (classical; the length of it depends on how funny we find the thing we are laughing about)
    • ha... ha... ha... (sarcastic, usually followed by "Nagyon vicces!" meaning "Very funny!" or "Szólj, ha nevetni kell!" meaning "Tell me when I have to laugh!")
    • hehehe (can be a bit malevolent, especially if it is combined with raised eyebrows and a little smile)
    • hihihi (giggle)
    • ho-ho-ho-hóóó (a la Santa Claus)
    • kac-kac (ironic; said with a bored expression indicatig that we not at all find something funny, for example:
    - Oh, did you know that you received a letter from Brad Pitt?
    - Really???!!! :eek:
    - NO! :D
    - Kac-kac.
    But I guess any of the 14 vowels of the Hungarian language can be used between the h's, the intonation and the expression on your face will tell others that in what sense you are laugning. ;)


    Senior Member
    Serbian, Serbia
    In Serbian:

    ahahaha (loud laughter, when smt is hilarious)
    ha, ha, ha (classical)
    he, he, he (can be a bit meanish)
    hi, hi, hi (giggle)

    ho, ho, ho (rare, Santa Claus laughter)
    ha... ha... (ha...) (sarcastic, like in Hungarian can be followed by "Jako smešno!" meaning "Very funny!" or "Umirem od smeha!" meaning "I am bursting of laughter!").


    Senior Member
    Venezuela --> Spanish -or something alik
    In Spanish (Venezuela):

    - ja ja ja --> Usual laugh.
    - ja... já... ('qué risa me da') --> Sarcastic laugh.
    - JA JA JA JA! --> Guffaw (as in "Laughing My A** Off")
    - je je je --> Mischievous little laughter.
    - ji ji ji --> Giggle.
    - jo jo jo --> San Nicolás -Santa Claus- laugh.
    - jú jú jú (In a high pitch) --> As in a mean laugh after a prank (like: "you're so stupid...")
    - ujú ja ja ja ja ja jaaaaaa... (in a lower, almost gutural tone) --> Evil laugh. (To make it meaner, you can add a couple more "ujú" before busting into the "ja ja" part)
    - ñaca-ñaca --> Evil laugh, too. But it can only be found in children's books, I think...

    luiz paulo rocha

    New Member
    Portuguese (Brazil)
    In portuguese (Brasil)

    hahaha (a typical laugh)
    hehe (a slight laugh)
    hihihi (kind of girly)
    huahuahuahua (LOL)
    kkkkkk (other typical laugh)

    obviously, you can increase the amount of "ha" or "k" to emphasize the laugh.


    New Member
    In Indonesian informal typing or typical chatting:

    Wkwkwkwkwk for usual laughter
    Wkakakkwkakakwk for louder laughter
    WKAKWKWKWKWKWKA for even louder laughter
    Wk for sarcastic laughter
    Ckckckck for chuckle
    Cikakakakc for another type of chuckle
    Wkowkwowokw unusual laughter

    Some people also use hahaha hihi hehe hoho but mostly uses wkwkwk
    In Greek:

    Typical laughter: «χαχα» [xaxa]
    Brawling/sarcastic laughter: «χοχο» [xoxo]
    Sneaky laughter: «χεχε» [çeçe]
    Girly laughter/gigling: «χιχι» [çiçi]
    Evil laughter: «μπουχαχα» [buxaxa]


    New Member
    'Wkwkwkwkwk' is actually not a phrase or even a word. It is similar to an onomatopoeia in English. It is the way some people in Indonesia write 'how they laugh'. To them, when people laugh, it sounds like 'wkwkwkwkwkwk' In Indonesian informal typing or typical chatting like "LOL" Laughing Out Louder when in English someone typing, To show they are laughing. :)

    "Ckckckckck" When We want to show people that we are 'Giggling', when we are typing in chat. :D

    Best Regards,
    English noob


    Senior Member
    How many different "sounds" of laughter, grin, or sneer are there in your language?
    Like in English, we have "ha ha", "heh heh", etc.

    In Chinese, we typically have the following ones:

    [Chinese | Chinese phonetic transcription | Similar English sound | Note]
    哈哈 | ha1ha1 | ha ha | The most common laughter
    呵呵 | he1he1 | her her / ho ho | Milder than haha. Became a symbol of a sardonic sneer in recent years.
    嘿嘿 | hei1hei1 | hey hey | Grin

    There are minor ones like:
    噗哧 | pu1chi1 | can't hold, burst out a soft laughter
    哼哼 | heng1heng1 | a short, sardonic sneer

    Exaggerated forms:
    哇哈哈…… | wa1ha1ha1 | wa ha ha |
    啊哈哈…… | a1ha1ha1 | ah ha ha |
    木哈哈…… | mu4ha1ha1 | mu ha ha | informal, evil laughter
    哦呵呵…… | o4he1he1 | oh her her / oh ho ho | informal, laughter of a sadist woman

    There are still some minor variants, of course.
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]


    Senior Member
    What an interesting question! I never thought about or paid attention to what it means when writing haha/hehe/hihi/hoho...
    But now I think about it. They really seem to express different "mood". For example:
    haha - that's a good joke, mate!
    hehe - you're mine!
    hihi - sounds girly
    hoho - you were tricked!


    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    In Taiwan we also use 顆顆(or科科) or use Roman Letters "kerker", or even bopomofo "ㄎㄎ"
    This is like 呵呵, a milder laughter, or we could say a chuckle.
    The "k" sound here is like the mild glottal sound accidentally made when chuckling.
    Note that 顆顆 and 呵呵, in Taiwan, may seem insincere to many people, like you don't want to respond with actual words so you instead do a chuckle.
    Sometimes 呵呵 can be even considered impolite, like you are saying "Haha, really funny" in a sarcastic way.

    嘻嘻(heehee) is another word for laughter. It sounds a little naughty, cheeky, etc., so it is mostly related to practical joke or something like that. It could be a giggle or even a snicker. (嘿嘿 would be stronger than嘻嘻, which is more of a snicker than 嘻嘻)


    Senior Member
    In Japanese:

    nimanima etc...

    www (internet slang, it's similar to lolol in English)


    Senior Member
    American English
    In Missouri, there is a place where a particular creek gets very rocky and has several small waterfalls near each other. The place is named after the sound the water makes tumbling over the rocks: "Haha Tonka", meaning "Laughing Water" in some local native languages/dialects. So, in that case, "haha" is not just what they say laughter sounds like, but also the word for it as a verb/adjective.


    In Hebrew, חחח (pronounced ħaħaħa, like Arabic ح or khakhakha, like arabic خ) :)
    You could also write ההה, which would be pronounced hahaha

    in French, you can write hahaha, hihihi, ohohoh, and many others :3 LOL is also pretty frequently used
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    New Member
    In portuguese (Brasil)

    hahaha (a typical laugh)
    hehe (a slight laugh)
    hihihi (kind of girly)
    huahuahuahua (LOL)
    kkkkkk (other typical laugh)

    obviously, you can increase the amount of "ha" or "k" to emphasize the laugh.
    You can also use, in Portuguese in Brazil, "quiá quiá quiá"


    Senior Member
    I've always wondered why Spanish speakers use "jajaja" when writing in English.
    It doesn't work in any other language but Spanish, since it's the only language where the letter <j> is pronounced /x/ or /h/.
    When I first saw "jajaja", I had no idea it was supposed to represent laughter.
    In French or Portuguese, it would be pronounced /ʒaʒaʒa/.
    In English, maybe /ʤɑ:ʤɑ:ʤɑ:/, while in German and Slavic languages it would sound /jajaja/. What's more, the German meaning is "yes, yes, yes".:)
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    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    I've always wondered why Spanish speakers use "jajaja" when writing in English.
    Recently I exchanged letters in English with a Venezolana living in Prague and she wrote:

    "Regarding the article "Los checos estudian ..." yes, it is me jijijijijiji"
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    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Catalan laughter is also ha! ha! ha!

    (The usage of jajaja in Catalan chats is always a mistake due to the influence of Spanish, as ja is pronounced [ʒa] and it means 'already, now')


    Senior Member
    I've always wondered how the French pronounce their hahaha while pretending to not be able to pronounce the letter h. Even their «h aspiré» doesn't sound like h, it's just a glottal stop. So tell me: how do you say «hahaha» en français?


    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)

    hahaha, chachacha (laugh)
    hihihi, chichichi (giggle)
    ha ha ha, ha... ha... [ha...], ha! ha! (ironically, pronounced slowly with normal voice)

    (h is pronounced [ɦ], ch is pronounced [x] in Czech)

    „jestli se nepletu, hihihi“
    „wenn ich mich nicht irre, hihihihi“ (Sam Hawkens, a character in the novel Winnetou by Karl May)

    Ha ha, řekl klaun
    Ha! Ha! Said The Clown (a song by Manfred Mann)
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    Senior Member
    But exactly there's my problem: they don't pronounce it at all. So what do they say? A-a-a, or 'a 'a 'a or is it really but a myth that they can't pronounce an h and they laugh like everybody else hahaha? Any native speakers care to chime in?