Is a palaver worse than a kerfuffle?

This was today’s question over lunch in the Peacock household. We decided that a palaver was marginally worse than a kerfuffle but weren’t sure why. The whole thing frankly caused a right how do you do (probably slightly worse than a palaver) but it was ultimately dismissed as a storm in a tea cup (arguably less serious than a kerfuffle).

It certainly wasn’t a rigmarole though. A rigmarole is a folderol, a saga, a hoo-hah, a to-do, a pother, involving much ado. In other words: Brexit.

British English is, as you’d expect, bursting with such words and phrases, as we specialise in furores. But New Zealand has some good ones too – notably a bobsie die.

Worst of all, though, is a spot of bother. This is a classic case of English understatement. World Wars One and Two could be described, for instance, as ‘a spot of bother with the Germans’.

I do hope this post doesn’t cause a foofaraw.

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