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KERFUFFLE

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KERFUFFLE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:08 pm

• kerfuffle •

Pronunciation: kêr--fêl • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A scuffle, a tussle. 2. A fuss, a ruffling of feathers.

Notes: The mystery surrounding today's Good Word (see Word History) also shrouds its spelling. Common spellings include kafuffle, kurfuffle, carfuffle, and curfuffle, which the Oxford English Dictionary prefers. The first element of the US spelling we have chosen may have been influenced by the colloquial prefix used to indicate loudness, such as kerflop, kerplunk, kersplash.

In Play: Today's word refers to a physical outbreak that leaves the clothes disheveled: "Hans Orf raised quite a kerfuffle when the dashing Lance Sterling kissed Hans's date at the party." Metaphoric usage, of course, reduces the impact of words referring to physical action: "During the kerfuffle over who was going to get the last piece of fried chicken, the dog grabbed it and ran away."

Word History: Today's Good Word, like so many that come down to us from the land of the kilts, is a wee bit mysterious. In Scotland, fuffle means to "to ruffle" or "become ruffled", probably an onomatopoeic word. The first part may be Gaelic car "bend, twist, wrong", also found in car-shúil "rolling eye" and car-tuaitheal "wrong turn". But who knows for sure? In the end it remains another secret of the kilts. (Today's Good Word comes from a suggestion by Gareth "Garzo" Hughes, the Vicar of Wiltshire in the West country of England, who is currently studying the Syriac language, a descendant of Aramaic, and sharing his views at our Agora.)
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Re: KERFUFFLE

Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Sep 24, 2005 9:09 am

Dr. Goodword wrote: ... In the end it remains another secret of the kilts. ...


I do hope our dear doctor doesn't start a kerfuffle by peeking underneath to reveal the secret !...

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Re: KERFUFFLE

Postby Stargzer » Sun Sep 25, 2005 11:44 pm

M. Henri Day wrote:
Dr. Goodword wrote: ... In the end it remains another secret of the kilts. ...


I do hope our dear doctor doesn't start a kerfuffle by peeking underneath to reveal the secret !...

Henri


I doubt the Good Doctor did, Henri, but Mike Cross knows a couple of lassies that did.
Regards//Larry

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Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Sep 26, 2005 2:28 pm

Presumably, being post-pubertal, our Scots friend was in fact graced with a bit more than he had had at birth. But poetic license....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Kilts

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:50 pm

In my recent travels about Scotland I was told what Scotsmen wear beneath their kilts. (The future of Scotland)
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Postby Stargzer » Tue Sep 27, 2005 1:11 am

M. Henri Day wrote:Presumably, being post-pubertal, our Scots friend was in fact graced with a bit more than he had had at birth. But poetic license....

Henri


Maybe, . . . :lol:
Regards//Larry

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