sreda, 05. februar 2014

Brouhaha ... or "bless you, you've come straight from God"

Brou, ha ha. It's actually funny, how the words change meaning through centuries (and especially, where they come from - see below).

Brouhaha means 'great excitement or concern about something' (on Merriam-Webster). Online Dictionary describes it as:

1.
excited public interest, discussion, or the like, as the clamor attending some sensational event; hullabaloo: The brouhaha followed disclosures of graft at City Hall.
2.
an episode involving excitement, confusion, turmoil, etc., especially a broil over a minor or ridiculous cause: A brouhaha by the baseball players resulted in three black eyes.


Origin:
1885–90; < French, orig. brou, ha, ha! exclamation used by characters representing the devil in the 16th-cent. drama; perhaps < Hebrew, distortion of the recited phrase bārūkh habbā ( beshēm ădhōnai ) “blessed is he who comes (in the name of the Lord)” (Ps. 118:26)
From Dictionary.com, here.

What I find interesting, is what my today's discovery, the Online Etymology Dictionary gives (here):
1890, from French brouhaha (1550s), said by Gamillscheg to have been, in medieval theater, "the cry of the devil disguised as clergy." Perhaps from Hebrew barukh habba' "blessed be the one who comes," used on public occasions (cf. Psalm 118).



There. Now you know.
Today, it means great excitement ... via "muahaha, the devil is here", possibly from "bless you, you've come straight from God".

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