foo·​fa·​raw | \ ˈfü-fə-ˌrȯ How to pronounce foofaraw (audio) \

Definition of foofaraw

1 : frills and flashy finery
2 : a disturbance or to-do over a trifle : fuss

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Did You Know?

Foofaraw originates in the American West where it has been variously spelled as "fofaraw," "forfarraw," and "froufraw," among other spellings. In writings of the pioneer West, it names the frivolous trinkets, baubles, and gewgaws used in trade. Around the 1930s, the word's more common meaning of a fuss or brouhaha developed-probably from the to-do that showy foofaraw stirred up-and people began to settle on the spelling "foofaraw." Etymologists have speculated that this eye-catching word may have come about from a mishearing of Spanish fanfarrón, meaning "braggart" or "boaster." French froufrou, a word for the rustling of a woman's skirts or showy ornamentation, may have also influenced it, however. Another possible connection is the French expression fou faraud, meaning "foolish dandy."

Examples of foofaraw in a Sentence

the foofaraw that accompanies any big wedding
Recent Examples on the Web For many Americans who don’t celebrate Christmas, sitting out the foofaraw while the whole country conducts Christmas consumption is an annual dose of alienation. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "Christmas Must Go On," 23 Nov. 2020 No foofaraw: Of course a cleric—in Chih’s case, one who belongs to a holy order tasked with traveling the land and collecting stories—wouldn’t concern themself with gender. Wired Staff, Wired, "13 Books You Need to Read This Fall," 29 Sep. 2020 What was Anne Boleyn up to while this whole Charles Brandon foofaraw was happening in England? Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Anne Boleyn," 25 May 2018 What was Anne Boleyn up to while this whole Charles Brandon foofaraw was happening in England? Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Anne Boleyn," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foofaraw.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of foofaraw

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for foofaraw

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for foofaraw

Time Traveler

The first known use of foofaraw was in 1848

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Cite this Entry

“Foofaraw.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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