laugh out of the other side of one's mouth


Also, laugh on the wrong side of one's mouth or face. Change from happiness to sadness, disappointment, or vexation. For example, He'll be laughing out of the other side of his mouth when he learns that he'll have to pay for the business trip he sought. [Late 1700s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.