alarums and excursions

plural noun
  1. (especially in Elizabethan drama) military action, as representative fragments of a battle, sound effects of trumpets, or clash of arms: used as a stage direction.
  2. any noisy, frantic, or disorganized activity.

Origin of alarums and excursions

First recorded in 1585–95 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018