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Laughing Cavalier popular name for a portrait of an unknown man by the Dutch painter Franz Hals (c. 1580–1666); the name is not contemporary, but began to be used in the late 19th century.

laughing gas a non-technical term for nitrous oxide. The gas, originally discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy (1778–1829), which was used particularly in dentistry as an anaesthetic, produces exhilaration when first inhaled.

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