September 15, 2017
hubbub (noun)
\HUB-ub\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: uproar, turmoil
How do you use it?
"All was now bustle and hubbub in the late quiet schoolroom. The scholars were hurried through their lessons without stopping at trifles." (Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow")
Are you a word wiz?

Etymologists think that "hubbub" may have developed in part from the Scottish Gaelic words "ub! ub!" What do you think "ub! ub!" was used for?

If you chose C, you're right! When "hubbub" first came into English in the mid-1500s, it meant an uproar, and was often used in the phrase "Irish hubbub." It is probably Irish in origin and may come from the ancient Irish battle cry "abu!" but no one knows for sure. There is evidence, though, that "hubbub" is linked to the Scottish Gaelic interjection "ub! ub!" which expressed contempt (similar to our interjection "boo!" which expresses contempt or disapproval). Whether it is Irish or Scottish in origin, "hubbub" has been used in English for over four centuries to mean a noisy commotion.
Archive RSS Feed