Words I’m Certain You Don’t Use Enough: Brouhaha

What a great word! I just heard it on the radio in my car, and I’m not sure I’ve heard it since high school when the word bruja had a completely different meaning.

A brouhaha is an episode involving excitement, confusion, turmoil, etc., especially a broil over a minor or ridiculous cause. This definition becomes exceedingly interesting when one examines the etymology:

 

French in origin,  “brou, ha, ha!” was an exclamation used by characters representing the devil in the 16th-cent. drama; or in medieval theater, “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy.”

Perhaps originally from Hebrew,  a distortion of the recited phrase “bārūkh habbā”, “blessed is he who comes (in the name of the Lord)” (Ps. 118:26).

The resulting modern definition shows some skepticism toward religion, and certainly, when there’s a brouhaha, it very often is a devil hiding behind the cross who is responsible.

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2 thoughts on “Words I’m Certain You Don’t Use Enough: Brouhaha

  1. t

    “flim-flammin” is one of my personal favorites. But for the life of me, i couldn’t provide nearly as informative a definition on it as you have for your word 🙂

    Reply
    1. Megan Neal Post author

      So, flim-flam, nonsense, deception, a swindle. Here is what I could find:

      probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse flīm mockery, Norwegian flire to giggle

      🙂

      Reply

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