- Chiefly British Informal. a fuss; commotion.
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
Examples from the Web for kerfuffle
The kerfuffle began with a £200 bet, followed by several smaller bets in quick succession.Could The Queen Abdicate on Christmas Day?
December 17, 2014
That's the goofiest part about the kerfuffle: It's not a theoretical discussion.Michael Sam Is Not a ‘Distraction’
February 12, 2014
The most interesting thing about Rice has been the kerfuffle over her move to become secretary of state.Susan Rice Didn’t Deserve State Post, Let Alone Her U.N. Role
December 14, 2012
Had one been expecting a kerfuffle, one would have been most disappointed.Karachi Festival Shows Pakistan’s Booming Literary World
Faiza S Khan
February 24, 2012
The Academy's honorary Oscar for anti-Semitic French director Jean-Luc Godard is more than a kerfuffle—it's an outrage.Hollywood's Attack on the Jews
November 2, 2010
carfuffle or kurfuffle
- informal, mainly British commotion; disorder; agitation
- (tr) Scot to put into disorder or disarray; ruffle or disarrange
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper