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Alternative formsEdit


The Oxford English Dictionary has this as a native English word, first appearing in print in 1762 (Smollett). The OED and other etymologists do not consider the possibility that the word was introduced from India into the English language. The term 'Hullabol' is still used in Indian English to describe a type of public demonstration, involving making a great noise. 'Hulla' is either derived from 'Hamla' meaning 'attack' or from 'halhala' meaning 'ululation' (both words from Persian and then Urdu). 'Bol' is from the Hindi verb 'bolna', 'to utter or say'.


  • IPA: /ˈhʌləbəˌlu/
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hullabaloo (plural hullabaloos)

  1. An uproar or fuss.
    Synonyms: ado, fuss, hype, to-do, uproar; see also Thesaurus:commotion
    They made such a hullabaloo about the change that the authorities were forced to change it back.
    • 1902, Joseph Conrad, chapter II, in Heart of Darkness:
      Certainly they had brought with them some rotten hippo–meat, which couldn’t have lasted very long, anyway, even if the pilgrims hadn’t, in the midst of a shocking hullabaloo, thrown a considerable quantity of it overboard.