laugh up one's sleeve

laugh up (one's) sleeve

1. To try to hide that one is laughing at someone else. Ron may seem like a nice guy, but he laughs up his sleeve whenever he's around someone he dislikes. The popular kids laugh up their sleeves every time I walk by—it's so infuriating.
2. To rejoice or be amused secretly and contemptuously, as at another's mistakes or misfortunes. Though they are feigning sympathy, I'm sure my colleagues are all laughing up their sleeves at me for being chewed out by the boss. I know it is mean spirited, but I cannot help but laugh up my sleeve when I see someone slip on the icy streets.
See also: laugh, sleeve, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

laugh up one's sleeve

Rejoice or exult secretly, hide one's amusement, as in When she tripped over her bridal train, her sister couldn't help laughing up her sleeve. This expression replaced the earlier laugh in one's sleeve, used by Richard Sheridan in The Rivals (1775): "'Tis false, sir, I know you are laughing in your sleeve." The expression, which alludes to hiding one's laughter in big loose sleeves, was already a proverb in the mid-1500s.
See also: laugh, sleeve, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

laugh up one's sleeve, to

To be secretly amused. This term, originally laughing in one’s sleeve, alludes to concealing mirth by hiding one’s face in the big loose sleeves of old-time fashions. It dates from the early sixteenth century and was included in John Heywood’s 1546 proverb collection. See also up one's sleeve.
See also: laugh, to, up
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
there are many sayings related to sleeves - 'to have something up your sleeve', 'to wear your heart on your sleeve' and 'to laugh up one's sleeve'.