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Sardonʹic Smile, Grin, or Laughter

.

A smile of contempt: so used by Homer.

“The Sardonic or Sardinian laugh. A laugh caused, it was supposed, by a plant growing in Sardinia, of which they who ate died laughing.”—Trench: Words, lecture iv. p. 176.

The Herba Sardonʹia (so called from Sardis, in Asia Minor) is so acrid that it produces a convulsive movement of the nerves of the face, resembling a painful grin. Byron says of the Corsair, There was a laughing devil in his sneer.


“ʹTis envy’s safest surest rule

To hide her rage in ridicule;

The vulgar eye the best beguiles

When all her snakes are decked with smiles.

Sardonic smiles by rancour raised.”


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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Saracen Wheat (French, Blé-sar-rasin)
Saracens
Saragoza
Saraswati
Sarcasm
Sarcenet
Sarcenet Chidings
Sarcophagus
Sardanapalus
Sardinian Laugh
Sardonic Smile, Grin, or Laughter
Sardonyx
Sarnia
Sarpedon
Sarsen Stones
Sartor Resartus
Sash Window
Sassanides
Sassenach (ch = k)
Satan
Satan’s Journey to Earth (Milton: Paradise Lost, iii. 418 to the end)