Ridere sotto i baffi

Ridere sotto i baffi in Italian

Ridere sotto i baffi
To laugh under your breath, to snicker

Literal translationTo laugh under your mustache
MeaningQuietly laughing to oneself or smirking at something amusing without showing it openly
IPA pronunciation/ˈridere ˈsotto i ˈbaffi/

Where does this come from? The origin of this expression is uncertain. Some people say it can’t be as old as the ancient Romans, because they disapproved of a mustache. Others say it must come from populations that were fond of mustaches, such as the Lombards or the Byzantines. Either way, a mustache and beard (barba) can hide your mouth movements and make it easier for you to laugh under your breath!

evil princess snickering

For example, you can say…

Perché stai ridendo sotto i baffi?
Why are you laughing under your breath?

I suoi eccessi di rabbia non mi fanno un baffo.
His outbursts of anger don’t baffle me.

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