In William Golding´s Paper Men, the main character keeps saying "Ha et cetera". What does he mean by this? Is it simply another way of saying "ha, ha, ha" (laughter)?
I believe this is a way in which the main character expresses sarcasm, maybe mixed with a little distrust or disdain (to a phrase/thought that is). I think an equivalent to this would be an ironic smile, or a sneer.
It is a way in which the main character responses to phrases, or thoughts, which he finds ridiculous or nonsense.
So I think the following two phrases will have roughly the same meaning: