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October 22, 2018

Word of the Day: Brouhaha

1 CQ

Word of the Day : October 22, 2018

brouhaha \BROO-hah-hah\ noun


: a state of commotion or excitement : hubbub, uproar

Did You Know?

Some etymologists think brouhaha is onomatopoeic in origin, but others believe it comes from the Classical Hebrew phrase barukh habba', meaning "blessed be he who arrives" (Psalms 118:26). Although we borrowed brouhaha directly from French in the late 18th century, etymologists have connected the French derivation to that frequently recited Hebrew phrase, distorted to something like brouhaha by worshippers whose knowledge of Hebrew was limited. The word eventually came to be used in a sense similar to "applause" and in the sense of "a noisy confusion of sound"—the latter being the sense that was later extended in English to refer to any tumultuous and confused situation.

Aired October 22, 2018

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