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Chortle is a word that first appeared in 1871 in a children’s book. We will examine the meaning of the word chortle, who coined it, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Chortle means a satisfied chuckle or the act of chuckling in a satisfied manner. Chortle is a portmanteau, which is a word that is composed by blending the sounds and the meaning of two different words. In this case, chortle is a mash-up of the words chuckle and snort. The word chortle was coined by Lewis Carroll and first used in his novel Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. It is a sequel to his celebrated children’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In Through the Looking-Glass, Alice encounters Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty, the White Knight and of course, the Red Queen. Chortle may be used as a noun or as an intransitive verb, which is a verb that does not take an object. Related words are chortles, chortled, chortling, chortler.


When asked if she ever entertained thoughts of getting a little offensive glory for herself, the rest of the close-knit Crusaders chortled. (The Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“I walked in here this morning and Babs and Ty were at the breakfast table,” chortled Marner. (The Toronto Sun)

The waitress – after commenting on how cute Mary was, to which I responded in hilarious fashion, ‘yes, she takes after me’ (how she chortled) – showed us to our table. (The Blackpool Gazette)

Last month’s announcement that Masterton had been declared New Zealand’s Most Beautiful City was the cue for much chortling and guffawing at my expense. (The Dominion Post)