Kerfuffle

Kerfuffle

kərˈfəf(ə)l

Noun

  • A commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views.

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Example Sentences

“When the fight broke out, I lost my watch in the ensuing kerfuffle.”

“The boys’ disagreement over prom dates caused a kerfuffle in the high school cafeteria.”

“An argument over the outcome of the baseball game led to a small kerfuffle in the parking lot.”

Word Origin

Scot, early 19th century

Why this word?

Imagine “kerfuffle” with a Scots brogue — the word most likely comes from the Gaelic word “car” (“twist, bend”), paired with the onomatopoeic Scots word “fuffle,” meaning “disorder.” Also likely related is the Irish phrase “cior thual,” which means “confusion, disorder.” You wouldn’t use “kerfuffle” for a serious fight or battle, but if there’s a slight disagreement or a difference of opinion, and no one is seeing eye to eye  — especially with a bit of hullabaloo and commotion — this is the right noun to use.

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Learn a new word Punctilious

ˌpəNG(k)ˈtilēəs