Word of the Day – Kerfuffle

Welcome to the Word of the Day on Grandma Ideas where people are encouraged to improve their vocabulary by learning these great and fun words!Before I get to today’s word, I just want to recap one of the previous words I have written about: irenic. Irenic means peaceful or promoting peace, remember?

Good. Because that word can easily be used at the same time that you use today’s word.

Now on to the new word of the day.

A while back, I saw a poster advertising a play that was titled “The Grand Kerfuffle.”

What on earth is a kerfuffle?

This set me scurrying to the dictionary! 

Kerfuffle (ker-fuh-full) is a noun that means a fuss, a commotion, a disturbance, a disorderly outburst, or tumult.

How many times do children make a fuss or commotion or disturbance? Like a million times a day — or at least that’s what mothers feel like sometimes.

“Mommy, Johnny hit me!”

Mommy, Suzie took my doll away from me!”

Mommy, David said that I was stupid!”

Mommy, Jill took my yellow crayon. I had it first!

And then the kids commence fighting.

While we all wish that our grandchildren were perfect, they will fight, argue, or be mean to each other — especially with their siblings. That is normal. That is what kids do. Le sigh, as the French would say . . .

And that is a perfect time to teach them this word!

What’s all this kerfuffle about, my dearie dears?” you might say in a sugary sweet voice.

You could then ask them if they know what that word meant and then teach it to them. Have them say the word. See if they can say it 5 times without making a mistake, in a high-pitched voice, really fast, or really slow.

The ideas is that by having them say the word in different ways they get distracted from what their kerfuffle was all about and might even get them giggling. Repeating it also gets it into their memory.

Once you’ve explained the word, you can use it any time that they are fighting. Not only would this help them increase their vocabulary, it would stop all of their commotion.

Now to bring in the word irenic. (Remember it means peaceful or promoting peace?) This would be a good time to remind them to be irenic!

Kerfuffle and irenic. Two great words to teach your grandchildren!

11 thoughts on “Word of the Day – Kerfuffle

  • Jann Olson

    I love learning about new words. Never heard of this fabulous one! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.

  • Nina Lewis Post author


    I think kerfuffle is used more in England than it is here in the U.S. Or, you just have a more extensive vocabulary!


  • April J Harris

    I love the word kerfuffle! I heard it a fair amount when I was growing up, but I had kind of forgotten about it! Although, of course, irenic has a much nicer meaning!! Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop, Nina.

  • Nina Lewis Post author


    I love that you are a writer and that you love words! And, I love your word peckish! I’m ALWAYS peckish!!

    Thanks so much for dropping by,

  • Karen

    I love words that sound exactly like what they are… like poofy or buzz to just name some easy ones. Kerfuffle is one of those too. Once you gave the definition, it just defined itself. And being a writer, I love a new word! Thanks… now I need to get off this computer and get busy since I’m feeling a bit peckish… look that one up! haha.

  • Debbie E

    Ha! totally forgot about that word. It is perfect for chaos…kerfuffle. Irenic I had never heard of, but they seem to be the ying to ones yang. Thanks for a great word for today 😀
    Happy Monday-ing to you!

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