I have a theory. We created laughter to protect us from things that are too much for us to bear.

I'm sure there's a word or a shorter phrase for the bolded part.

  • 1
    Unbearable things.
    – Erik Kowal
    Jan 22, 2015 at 5:07
  • 1
    Large elephants.
    – Sven Yargs
    Jan 22, 2015 at 6:24

3 Answers 3


We created laughter to protect us from the unbearable.


ONEROUS adjective:

1: involving, imposing, or constituting a burden : troublesome <an onerous task>

2: having legal obligations that outweigh the advantages <an onerous contract>

— oner·ous·ly adverb

— oner·ous·ness noun

Traumatic adjective: emotionally disturbing or distressing.

Trauma noun: a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time

From: Merriam-Webster online


a bit much, insufferable, intolerable, enough already, last straw

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