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split (one's) sides
To laugh uproariously or hysterically. Your jokes are perfect for your speech tonight. You'll have them splitting their sides!
split one's sides (with laughter)
Fig. to laugh so hard that one's sides almost split. (Always an exaggeration.) The members of the audience almost split their sides with laughter. When I heard what happened to Patricia, I almost split my sides.
split one's sides, to
To laugh uproariously. This hyperbole dates from the seventeenth century. Thomas Brown used it in Saints in Uproar (1687): “You’d break a man’s sides with laughing.” The word “split” came into use somewhat later. Dickens used it in The Old Curiosity Shop (1840), “He bade fair to split his sides with laughing,” and Harriet Beecher Stowe in Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), “I laughed fit to split.” See also shake with laughter.
See also: split