Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Fri Jan 11 18:17:29 UTC 2002

>I got this from another list, and somebody mentioned "kerfuffle", meaning,
>apparently, a sort of strong academic argument of little significance
>outside that discipline.  I've seen "kerfuffle" used for this kind of
>argument for about 10 years or so. Where did it originate?  Is it a "made
>up" word?...
>Anne G

     I've treated "kerfuffle" in an article: "Origin Of _Ker-_ in
_Kerflop_, Kerplunk, Etc_.", in _Studies in Slang, Part I_, by Gerald
Leonard Cohen (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang), 1985, pp. 1-28. See
pp.6-7, 18-20.
The word is not simply "made up"; it is attested already (as
"carfuffle") in Joseph Wright's _The English Dialect Dictionary_,
vol. 1, 1898.

--Gerald Cohen

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