According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), this is 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 (“attack”) or from halhala (“ululation”) from Persian via Urdu; bol is from the Hindi verb bolna (bolna, “to utter or say”).
hullabaloo (plural hullabaloos)
- 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.
- 1899 March, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number MI, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, […], OCLC 1042815524, part II:
- 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.
- Alternative form of