Over at Quintus Curtius site, he delves into a bit of history behind a common phrase, and we uncover something quite disturbing. He was going through Procopius’s History of the Wars, and came across the following regarding what we call a “sardonic laugh.”

This island of Sardinia was formerly called Sardo.  In that place there grows a certain herb that, if men eat it, a fatal convulsion immediately comes over them and they die not long afterward, giving the impression of laughing, as it were, because of the convulsion, and this laughter they call “Sardonic” from the name of that place.

Dig in deeper, and enjoy. Have a good weekend guys.