Ever been in a kerfuffle?
Say it: “ker-FUFF-ul”.
Say it again, faster. You’re smiling, aren’t you? I can’t help but grin absurdly when I say kerfuffle. There are certain words in the English language that tickle the tongue, that come out Dr. Seuss-esque and make me feel like I’m five.
The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines kerfuffle as “a disturbance, a fuss.” Something like an ado, a bother, a bluster, a ballyhoo, a furor, or hoopla.
For example, “When my co-worker found out that they were out of Pumpkin Spice lattes, she raised quite a kerfuffle.” (FYI, this is a true story from Wednesday.)
It’s a chiefly British word, but the origin is probably Scottish Gaelic, a combination of cearr (wrong or awkward) and fuffle (to become disheveled). I am becoming increasingly convinced that the ancient Gaelic and Celtic languages might be the coolest on the planet.
Apparently, I’m not the only person who thinks kerfuffle is a fun word. Google revealed that there is a website devoted to kerfuffles, a slew of rather cheesy memes, a musical band, and even a board game by that name! Family game night, anyone?
But my favorite definition of kerfuffle comes from urbandictionary.com:
Kerfuffle: a cough that makes you fart.