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Borrowed from French brouhaha, but disputed as to where from before that. Possibly from Hebrew בָּרוּךְ הַבָּא(barúkh habá, welcome, literally blessed is he who comes).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbɹuː.hɑː.hɑː/
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brouhaha (plural brouhahas)

  1. A stir; a fuss or uproar.
    Synonyms: commotion, hubbub, kerfuffle; see also Thesaurus:commotion
    • 1972, John Drury Clark, “Halogens and Politics and Deep Space”, in Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, →ISBN, page 74:
      For as they were maneuvering the cylinder onto a dolly, it split and dumped one ton of chlorine trifluoride onto the floor. It chewed its way through twelve inches of concrete and dug a three-foot hole in the gravel underneath, filled the place with fumes which corroded everything in sight, and, in general, made one hell of a mess. Civil Defense turned out, and started to evacuate the neighborhood, and to put it mildly, there was quite a brouhaha before things quieted down. Miraculously, nobody was killed, but there was one casualty — the man who had been steadying the cylinder when it split. He was found some five hundred feet away, where he had reached Mach 2 and was still picking up speed when he was stopped by a heart attack.
    It caused quite a brouhaha when the school suspended one of its top students for refusing to adhere to the dress code.
    • 1981, “Elephant Talk”, in Discipline, performed by King Crimson:
      Talk, it's only talk / Babble, burble, banter / Bicker, bicker, bicker / Brouhaha, balderdash, ballyhoo / It's only talk / Back talk
    • 1999, “The Brouhaha”, in Hello Nasty, performed by Beastie Boys:
      What's all the fanfare, what's the to do / We're known to bring the hullabaloo / On stage or at the spa / Guaranteed we bring the brouhaha / ‘Cause it's a brouhaha
    • 2022 September 5, Roger Cohen, “Of Barbecues and Men: A Summer Storm Brews Over Virility in France”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      Ms. Rousseau, a senior member of the Europe Écologie-Les Verts party, said in an interview that she was surprised by the sizzling brouhaha.




Disputed. Possibly by assimilation from Hebrew בָּרוּךְ הַבָּא(barúkh habá, blessed (be) who comes), a collocation occurring in Psalm 118:26 and an interjection meaning “welcome” in Modern Hebrew. An alternative theory holds that the origin is onomatopoeic.

In regards to the semantic evolution to “noisy meeting”, compare ramdam, sabbat.



brouhaha m (plural brouhahas)

  1. brouhaha
    • 1865, Jules Verne, chapter 2, in De la Terre à la Lune [From the Earth to the Moon], J. Hetzel et Compagnie, published 1868:
      Un brouhaha, une tempête d’exclamations accueillit ces paroles.
      A brouhaha, a gale of exclamations welcomed those words.


Further reading[edit]