Imagine a person, who laughs for no reason. And then imagine another person, who starts laughing 10 minutes after a joke has been told.
Is there a word or a phrase to describe any of such persons (in non-offensive way)? Maybe, some regional expressions?

4 Answers 4


«Ridere a scoppio ritardato» when you start laughing way after you should have.

«Aver la riderella», «esser preso dalla riderella» when you can't stop laughing (as mentioned by others above).

  • I like ridere a scoppio ritardato! Not an expression I would commonly use, but easily understood and very appropriate!
    – nico
    Nov 24, 2013 at 8:11
  • (actually I thought it was rather common :-))
    – user193
    Nov 24, 2013 at 8:25

Both acts could be be expressed by means of a perfectly legitimate Italian expression: "ridere a sproposito".

  • that's the right answer to me.
    – Daniele B
    Nov 28, 2013 at 8:22
  • 1
    Note that, although "ridere a sproposito" can be used in both situations, it introduces a judgement and can be interpreted as offensive.
    – user193
    Dec 1, 2013 at 0:08

For the former case, the proverb says "il riso abbonda sulla bocca degli stolti" (there's a lot of laughter* in the stupid's mouth) For the latter case, what comes to mind is the highly irregular expression "essere tardo di comprendonio" (literally, to be slow of understanding), but neither of these are any pleasant on the receiving end. Euphemisms in informal situations could be commenting on your friend's amount of intoxication or in the latter case likening him to a diesel engine: he's slow but he gets there. In more formal situations it's probably polite not to comment.

If you're approximately in your 20s, really friends and he's been in Italy in the past few years you could even risk quoting Zelig: "oh, ma ci sei? sei connesso?"

*riso means both laughter and rice


As for the first question, there is a quite colloquial (and regional?) word, stupidera, that denotes that kind of laughter when you cannot stop laughing, and everything makes you laugh even more.

  • 2
    Also "ridarella". Nov 23, 2013 at 11:11
  • 1
    In Veneto el boresso
    – egreg
    Nov 23, 2013 at 11:34
  • 2
    Ridarella is what I'd thought myself. But I also wanted a word for "a laugh with no reason at all", not only "unstoppable"
    – I.M.
    Nov 23, 2013 at 11:39
  • "Stupidera" is Lombard, whereas I think "ridarella" is Italian.
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 23, 2013 at 13:57
  • I use ridarola and stupidera, but they are both clearly regional
    – laika
    Jan 9, 2015 at 15:33

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