kerfuffle

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noun ker·fuf·fle \kər-ˈfə-fəl\

Definition of kerfuffle

chiefly British

  1. :  disturbance, fuss

Examples of kerfuffle in a sentence

  1. <predictably, the royal scandal caused quite a kerfuffle on Fleet Street>

Did You Know?

Fuffle was first used in Scottish English, as early as the 16th century, as a verb meaning "to dishevel." The addition of the prefix car- (possibly derived from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning "wrong" or "awkward") didn't change the meaning of the word considerably. In the 19th century "carfuffle," with its variant "curfuffle," became a noun, and in the mid-20th century it was embraced by a broader population of English speakers and standardized to "kerfuffle." There is some dispute among language historians over how the altered spelling came to be favored. One theory holds that it might have been influenced by imitative words like "kerplunk," where the syllable "ker-" is simply added for emphasis.

Origin and Etymology of kerfuffle

alteration of carfuffle, from Scots car- (probably from Scottish Gaelic cearr wrong, awkward) + fuffle to become disheveled


First Known Use: 1946


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