Green’s Dictionary of Slang

laughing adj.

also away laughing

(orig. milit.) safe, secure; usu. in such phr. as you’re laughing or I’m laughing.

[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 177: You get me a couple of miles away from here, and I’m laughing.
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 177: They’ll come across with all the dough they got to be out of that and we’ll be laughing.
[UK]F. Norman Fings I i: Anyway, wotcha screamin’ abaht, you’re larfin, you are.
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 64: All you do is stick some jelly on the column and you’re laughing.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 11/2: away laughing an easy start or achievement, eg ‘We’re away laughing on this job, mate. Should be finished by midday.’ Possibly contraction of English phrase ‘away you go – laughing’, someone making a meal of misfortune or duty.
[Aus]B. Moore Lex. of Cadet Lang. 208: laughing (be) to be in a state of triumph or success, as in ‘we’re laughing’.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].

SE in slang uses

In compounds

laughing academy (n.) (also laughing farm, ...house)

(US) a psychiatric institution.

[US]Tacoma Times (WA) 6 June 2/3: Things that fit a man for residence in the laughing academy.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 14: Coombs was ready for the laughing academy when you had to talk through a little hole in the door to get a drink.
[US]K. Vonnegut ‘Custom-Made Bride’ in Bagombo Snuff Box (1999) 110: They tell me this Krummbein is a genius, but I say he belongs on Skid Row or in a laughing academy.
[US]Rigney & Smith Real Bohemia xv: laughing academy mental hospital.
[US](con. 1920s) Carmichael & Longstreet Sometimes I Wonder 157: It’s warm and swimmy here, crazy as a laughing farm.
[US]L. Wolf Voices from the Love Generation 48: I’d been to prison, I’d been to the laughing academy.
[UK]M. Harris The Dilly Boys 51: Pull up your docks or I know you’ll end up in the Laughing House.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 139: The way you’re going to bat to get the old man back in the laughing academy.
D. Etter Home State 31: Poisoners of the environment, militant racists, and loony-bird radicals (both left and right variety), who belong in the nearest laughing academy.
G. Matthews Wisdom of Stones 38: They promoted him to the laughing academy, last I heard.
J. Mackie Manhattan North 121: ‘Confined to some laughing academy upstate,’ Marcus said. ‘A real ritzy, private laughing academy, I might add.’.
[UK]Guardian 2 Dec. [internet] Has anybody talked this way since poor Blanche DuBois was carried off to the Laughing academy?
laughing boy (n.) [? Gilbert & Sullivan song ‘A Laughing Boy But Yesterday’ in The Yeoman of the Guard (1888), about a miserable person]

1. an ironic nickname given to someone who seems consistently, or even temporarily, miserable and in low spirits.

[US]Meehan & Tugend Seven Sinners [film script] Laughing boy is here again [HDAS].
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: One murmur, Jap, and Laughing Boy here will slit your guts up to your ears.
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 26: Imagine the act old laughing boy here is going to stack on if we’re attacked.
[UK]A. Payne ‘The Dessert Song’ Minder [TV script] 24: Where’s laughing boy with his sea-chest?
[Ire]J. O’Connor Salesman 267: An expulsion order, they call it. Heard I was dealin’ smack. And they don’t like that, Homer, the laughin’ boys, don’t like it at all.

2. one who laughs complacently prior to encountered problems.

[US]Tarantino & Avery Pulp Fiction [film script] 98: Laughing boy stops when he sees the big man.
laughing gear (n.) (also laughing tackle) [gear n. (1)/SE tackle]

the mouth.

[Atheneum 25 Feb. 133/1: A new burletta was produced here [...] called ‘The Proof of the Pudding’. [...] The fun is but chill fun, and the audience had some difficulty in getting their laughing tackle in motion].
[[US]Eve. Bull. (Maysville, KY) 30 Oct. 3/1: And don’t forget your laughing gear / For fun will be red hot].
[NZ]R. Helmer Stag Party 82: ‘Here, wrap your laughin’ gear round that lot,’ Crump said, handing me a heaped plateful.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 78: The thing that most of them want to wrap their laughing gear around is above table-level.
A. Billson My Name Is Michael Caine 123: [...] the sort of dialogue around which actors love to wrap their laughing tackle.
[UK]J. Meades Pompey 236: He never knew whose daughter she was, this girl with the magic laughing tackle, this little mystery in Greenhouse .
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Leaving Bondi (2013) [ebook] Les unzipped his fly and pulled out Mr Wobbly [...] then put his hand on the back of Blythe’s head. ‘So get your literary laughing gear around this.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
[UK]T. Black Artefacts of the Dead [ebook] Get your laughing gear round that.
laughing-side(d) boot (n.) (also laughing-sides) [adopted from Aborigine mispron. of SE]

(Aus.) an elastic-sided boot.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 6 Jan. 20/3: ‘Laughing-sides’ wouldn’t last long in a boggy cowyard.
[Aus]J. Walker No Sunlight Singing (1966) 55: Khaki trousers [...] covered the bony legs almost to the dirty bare ankles which disappeared into a broken-down pair of ‘laughingside’ riding boots.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy in Great Aus. Lover Stories 121: Laughing-sided boots, shirts and all that whitefella stuff.
[Aus]K. Willey Ghosts of the Big Country 16: The younger Yanyula men in wide cowboy hats and ‘laughing-sides’.
laughing soup (n.) (also laughing-juice, ...water) [its effects]

(US) an alcoholic drink, esp. champagne; thus laughing soup parlor, a bar.

[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ I Need The Money 27: He could wrap his system around more Indian laughing-juice without getting lit up than any other man in the world.
[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 154: Reserve the shower bath suite for me, yaas — and fill the bath with laughing soup.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Go To It 37: The proprietor [...] wanted to buy me six buckets of Ruinart laughing-water.
[US]Bisbee Dly Rev. (AZ) 10 May 6/2: Along the big eats, will be much laughing juice.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 20 Aug. [synd. col.] A ‘shortie’ of laughing soup, which is ½ a p;oint, costs only 35 cents a convulsion.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 17 Sept. [synd. col.] A new laughing soup parlor [...] will be backed by Wall Street big shots.
[US]Ersine Und. and Prison Sl.
[US]W. Winchell ‘On Broadway’ 23 Sept. [synd. col.] They made it verboten to sell laughing-soup to any person who looks like a member of the Lucas Beebe set.
[US]M. Prenner ‘Drunk in Sl.’ in AS XVI:1 Jan. 70/2: liquor [...] laughing soup.
G. Allvine Greatest Fox of Them All 84: Jack’s on Sixth Avenue [...] where bouncers were expertly trained to propel to the sidewalk anyone carrying too much laughing soup.
H.C. Beck Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey 252: [...] strong liquors, fork lightning compared to what the ultra-moderns call laughing soup, could be had for the asking.
I. Greenwell Ancestor 233: The Shaman will have a dinner ready for a celebration, with much laughing juice to swallow it with.
laughing weed (n.) (also laughing tobacco) [BROKEN XREF!!! ; i.e. its effects]

(US drugs) marijuana.

[UK] cited in Partridge DU (1949).
[US]Scientific American Mar. 150: The drug, also known as loco weed, muggles, Indian hay, Indian hemp, hasheesh, laughing tobacco, and reefers, is dried and rolled into cigarettes selling from five to 25 cents apiece.
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 311: laughing weed. A marihuana cigarette.
[UK]Daily Tel. (London) 30 Jan. n.p.: May I interest you in some Aunt Mary? Or perhaps a little baby bhang? No, I can see, you prefer El Diablito. Or bambalacha? Juju? Laughing weed?
(ref. to 1957) C. Mintrom Tommy Adderley 111: Though Tommy had had his first experience of drugs with laughing weed, on the boats, back in 1957.