“Kerfuffle”

Noun. Controversy, commotion. From the Scots “curfuffle.” “The kerfuffle began when the American bloke in the striped tie tried to prove he was not a poppy by stopping at a pub and shouting for some cold ones.” (Maureen Dowd, New York Times, April 30, 1989)/”Ricky Gervais Globes-hosting kerfuffle does not move ratings needle.” (Washington Post headline, January 11, 2011) Google Ngram.

6 thoughts on ““Kerfuffle”

  1. I predicted “kerfuffle” would enter the American lexicon more broadly when the first _Little Britain_ series became available on Region 1 DVDs, and according to Amazon.com, that was in 2005.

  2. Curfuffle spent most of its life as an obscure and little-used Scottish word. There is a theory that it took hold in its current form (kerfuffle) when comic books started to amplify words by prefacing them with ‘ker’, as in ‘KER-BAM!!’ and ‘KER-BOOM!!’ Suitably rebranded, kertfuffle spread to England, and now, it seems, it is slowly percolating the US language landscape.

  3. i learnt ‘kerfuffle’ on internet scrabble club, a site out of romania

    it is a wonderful word, innit!

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