Ok so, for some reason I don't like using the word giggle or chuckle, I seriously don't know why. Instead, I use laugh quietly, or softly, and I think it's getting repetitive.

Are there any other ways to describe this? Example:

"Oh no...Not this again..." Jay said and Jacob laughed quietly, picking up a plastic knife. "Knife-y Jr Jr."

(BTW, that's an inside joke from my story)

  • 1
    Giggling is silly laughing, chuckling is good-natured soft laughter, snickering and sniggering are mean-spirited. Tittering is nervous laughter. They all have their purpose.
    – Jim
    Dec 24, 2016 at 4:38
  • True...But haven't you noticed how normally in books the girls giggle and the boys chuckle? So I just saw them as the same after realizing that. Is that just a coincidence?
    – AmazingMc
    Dec 24, 2016 at 4:44
  • It’s not coincidence, it’s stereotypical. Girls are more prone to giggling and boys to chuckling- they’re not the same though.
    – Jim
    Dec 24, 2016 at 4:51
  • Jay said and Jacob, with an audible grin, picked up a plastic knife, "Knife-y..."
    – tblue
    Apr 22, 2020 at 17:06

4 Answers 4


Perhaps Snicker or Snigger (sounds more unique to me) will work for you.



  • To snicker



  • to laugh in a covert or partly suppressed manner


  • 1
    Beat me to it, Hank!
    – vpn
    Dec 24, 2016 at 3:03
  • @AmazingMc Glad I could help!
    – Hank
    Dec 24, 2016 at 3:05
  • @vanderpn I considered Titter but really liked the way Snigger fits into the OP's example.
    – Hank
    Dec 24, 2016 at 3:06

It is one thing to laugh quietly, something altogether different to "snigger", "giggle" or "chuckle" - especially "snigger".

I am not sure the OP has in mind someone doing any of these as all carry strong nuances. Indeed one can loudly do any of them.

If I read that someone had "laughed quietly", in the absence of context that might suggest why they had laughed quietly, e.g. so as not to be overheard, I would garner nothing other than that they had given a quiet laugh.


Probably a bit late for the OP, but anyone else who finds this post like me, "Chortle" means to laugh quietly, though it sounds a bit too much like "Chuckle" which the OP was not fond of using. Of course, you could always describe it differently. "A small laugh" "A half-suppressed laugh" "She hiccuped a laugh" "A closed mouth giggle"

  • 1
    This would be improved with a dictionary definition (and link) for your chosen word. Apr 22, 2020 at 14:28

Titter is another word that may satisfy your request.

Merriam-Webster defines titter as

: to laugh in a nervous, affected, or partly suppressed manner: giggle, snicker

  • I've seen that in synonyms before, but is it just me, or does that just sound weird? "He titters" like seriously, I'd have to go look it up and stop reading just because it's a weird word
    – AmazingMc
    Dec 24, 2016 at 3:08

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