Have you ever heard a cat wailing and felt that you could relate? Apparently some hungover German speakers once did. "Katzenjammer" comes from the German Katze (meaning "cat") and "Jammer" (meaning "distress"). English speakers borrowed the word for their hangovers (and other distressful inner states) in the 19th century and eventually applied it to outer commotion as well. The word isn't as popular in English today as it was around the mid-20th century, but it's well-known to many because of the "Katzenjammer Kids," a long-running comic strip featuring the incorrigibly mischievous twins Hans and Fritz.
Examples of katzenjammer in a Sentence
traffic was all tied up, the kids were fighting, and in the midst of all this katzenjammer, the phone rang