laugh up one's sleeve, to

laugh up one's sleeve

to laugh secretly; to laugh quietly to oneself. Jane looked very serious, but I knew she was laughing up her sleeve. I told Sally that her dress was darling, but I was laughing up my sleeve because her dress was too small.
See also: laugh, sleeve, up

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

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, up