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February 12, 2022

Hullabaloo /hələbəˌlo͞o/ adj.

Definition:  Hullabaloo refers to loud, continued noise or a mixture of noises. It’s alternatively used to identify a state of commotion, excitement, or violent disturbance, or a loud noise made by people who are angry.

Etymology: The origin of hullabaloo is difficult to pin down and has generated varying theories over time. Many believe hullabaloo first appeared in a quotation by Scottish poet Tobias Smollett in 1762. The most accepted explanation suggests hullabaloo derived from a rhyming shout halloo-baloo!, possibly heard in English hunting fields. 

Alternatively, the Oxford English Dictionary identifies the old Scots term balow or baloo that appeared in some nursery rhymes as a possible origination, but the dictionary does not explain how baloo became hullabaloo or how or when the completely different connotation came about.

In a Sentence

The quarterback’s abrupt decision to retire created quite the hullabaloo among his fans.

The inconsiderate neighbor’s house is a constant source of ear-splitting hullabaloo.

What explanation is there for all of this hullabaloo?

The band’s music strikes me as meaningless wandering hullabaloo.


Fuss, Commotion, Uproar, Ruckus


Calm, Order, Silence, Harmony


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