• A great deal of fuss or attention given to a minor matter.
  • Showy frills added unnecessarily.

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Example Sentences

“There was a lot of foofaraw over something that I saw as just a minor quibble.”

“If you’re going to make a foofaraw over my birthday, please make sure the cake is chocolate.”

“My mother says it’s not a pageant dress unless it has at least three rows of foofaraw.”

Word Origin

French, mid-19th century

Why this word?

“Foofaraw” can be traced back to “fanfaron” (“boastful”) in French and “fanfarrón” (“ostentatious”) in Spanish, but in English, the word has a meaning closer to “frou-frou.” It was used as a slang term in the West to mean something tacky and gaudy, which contributes to the definition today of something unnecessarily frilly. The other definition is also American, and this “foofaraw” is “a big fuss made over a minor matter.”

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