Word of the Day : February 21, 2019


noun HOO-plah

What It Means

1 : excited commotion : to-do

2 : exaggerated or sensational promotion or publicity : ballyhoo


"Ideas change as data accumulate. If future evidence causes me to change my mind again, that's okay. That's how the scientific method works, always revising what we thought we knew, eventually casting aside the emotional hoopla, and ultimately granting us not a measure of truth so much as a better approximation of reality." — Eric J. Chaisson, The Atlantic, 16 Oct. 2018

"My wife and I were watching all this [government] shutdown hoopla on television. My wife then said, 'Why don't you serve them meals?' So we decided to extend it out to all of the Coast Guard members stationed here…." — James Gubata, quoted in The Providence Journal, 15 Jan. 2019

Did You Know?

In French, the interjection houp-là is used roughly the same way as English's upsy-daisy or whoops-a-daisy, as one might say when picking up a child. (This usage can be found in English, too, in such works as Booth Tarkington's The Magnificent Ambersons and James Joyce's Ulysses.) When the word was borrowed into American English, however, it was to refer to a kind of bustling commotion, and later, as a term for sensationalist hype. In the early 20th century, another hoopla was in use as well. Playing on the syllable hoop, that word gave its name to a ring-toss game played at carnivals.

Test Your Vocabulary

What tuber's name joins ring to form a word for a ring or hoop of ceramic or metal that is placed under dishes of hot food?



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