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Alternative forms[edit]


Probably from Scots curfuffle, equivalent to ker- +‎ fuffle, or related to Irish cíor thuathail (confusion, bewilderment). Similar to modern Welsh cythrwfl (uproar, trouble, agitation)



kerfuffle (plural kerfuffles)

  1. (chiefly Commonwealth, informal) A disorderly outburst, disturbance, commotion, or tumult. [from 19th c.]
    Synonyms: brouhaha, donnybrook, fracas, hubbub, hullabaloo, mess, racket
    • 2009 May 22, Stuart Heritage, “Jon & Kate Latest: People You Don’t Know Do Crap You Don’t Care About”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      You know all this kerfuffle about Jordan and Peter Andre, and how you don’t know if they’re really splitting up or it’s just an act []
    • 2011 June 6, Mark Memmott, “Sarah Palin's Had Her Say; Now Let's Hear From Paul Revere”, in The Two-Way[2], National Public Radio:
      There's been a bit of a kerfuffle the past couple days over something Sarah Palin said about Paul Revere.
    • 2023 May 28, Nadia Asparouhova, “Remembering GitHub's Office, a Monument to Tech Culture”, in Wired[3], →ISSN:
      The debate seemed innocuous—a minor kerfuffle, but nothing that couldn’t be resolved and moved on from.

Derived terms[edit]



kerfuffle (third-person singular simple present kerfuffles, present participle kerfuffling, simple past and past participle kerfuffled)

  1. (chiefly Britain, Canada, informal) To make a disorderly outburst or commotion.