• synonyms


[ker-fuhf-uh l]
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  1. Chiefly British Informal. a fuss; commotion.
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Origin of kerfuffle

1945–50; < Scots curfuffle < cur- (< Scots Gaelic car ‘to twist, turn’ < Old Irish cor ‘a turn’) + fuffle ‘to disorder, confuse’ (of imitative origin)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for kerfuffle

commotion, disruption, disturbance, disorder, tumult, splash, convulsion, upheaval, fracas, melee, row, brouhaha, unrest, fiasco, chaos

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Contemporary Examples of kerfuffle

British Dictionary definitions for kerfuffle


carfuffle or kurfuffle

  1. informal, mainly British commotion; disorder; agitation
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  1. (tr) Scot to put into disorder or disarray; ruffle or disarrange
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Word Origin for kerfuffle

from Scottish curfuffle, carfuffle, from Scottish Gaelic car twist, turn + fuffle to disarrange
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for kerfuffle


"row, disturbance," c.1930, first in Canadian English, ultimately from Scot. curfuffle.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper