hurly burly

A hurly burly is a hubbub or commotion. There’s the hurly burly of the schoolyard, or the hurly burly of a food fight. When there’s a hurly burly, things have gone totally higgledy-piggledy.

When something loud, unruly, or chaotic is going on, there’s a hurly burly. It’s an old-fashioned British word. In fact, a witch in Shakespeare’s Macbeth says, “When the hurlyburly’s done, When the battle’s lost and won.” A hurly burly isn’t always as serious as war, though, it’s an informal word for a disturbance, hoo-ha, kerfuffle, a real to-do, the kind that wouldn’t be welcome in a library. Any hurly burly is noisy in some way.

Definitions of hurly burly

n a disorderly outburst or tumult

commotion, disruption, disturbance, flutter, hoo-ha, hoo-hah, kerfuffle, to-do
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convulsion, turmoil, upheaval
a violent disturbance
a disturbance that is extremely disruptive
a public disturbance
splash, stir
a prominent or sensational but short-lived news event
storm, tempest
a violent commotion or disturbance
storm center, storm centre
a center of trouble or disturbance
garboil, tumult, tumultuousness, uproar
a state of commotion and noise and confusion
a state of violent disturbance and excitement
Type of:
a disturbance of the peace or of public order

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