Sardonismus (in conjunction with laughter), as distinct from sarcasm no biting, bitter mockery, but a grim, painful.


In the original population of Sardinia (Latin sardoni ) should have passed the custom to kill the old people; there should be laughter. That was the infamous risus Sardonicus, a convulsive laugh, to which the soul is not involved. In German-speaking countries, the term has been proven since 1580:

" They laughed a sardonic laughter "

Already in ancient Greece were known the expression. A distinction was made between Cynic ( Kynikos: , belonging to the world view of the Cynics '), sardonic ( sardánios: the grim derision of angry, at their own claims or private pain ') and sarcastic ( sarkastikós: , mocking mocking, hurtful speech '). So Odysseus disguised as a beggar laughs in Homer sardonic to himself when he finally returned, a crowbar escapes, with the pelts him a suitor of his wife.

Occasionally, the convulsive smile is the effect of a bitter plant sardánion ( German: -tube water fennel, according to sources also Lach herb Apium risus or Sardoa herba ) returned from Sardinia that will contain the poison Oenanthotoxin and thus explain the tradition of killing the elderly would. So writes Meyers Encyclopedia from 1888 to Sardoniasis was a " convulsive, connected to violently changing face distortion laugh without external cause ." The term is already found in Homer ( Odyssey, 20, 302) and is a growing in Sardinia herb be hergenommen ( in Virgil Sardoa herba ), whose pleasure twisting his mouth like to laugh ... He who eats of it, his face contorts into a involuntary grinning laughter '. More recent works relate the origin of the convulsive laughter on the greenhouse Sardonia. A message of National Geographic in 2009 claimed that the only occurring in Sardinia plant Oenanthe crocata (English hemlock water -drop word, an unusually tasty poisonous plant ) had been identified as the origin.