Favourite words: Kerfuffle edition

Occasionally a word catches my fancy, like a shiny bauble, and I’ll share my thoughts about it.

Amistad. Wanderlust. Clusterfuck. The English language is littered with these delightful curios (I know Amistad is technically not an English word, but flow with me here).

These nuggets cast a light spell on you, however fleeting this may be, and my latest favourite is Kerfuffle.

*adjusts reading glasses*

Kerfuffle /kəˈfʌf(ə)l/

A commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views

If words were mythical beasts this would be a fragile, fragrant butterfly.

It conjures up images of Tinkerbell and genteel English ladies, with dainty teapots and whistling kettles.

Now, you must know how to approach her. Without being told, you know that you have to stroke this delicate word oh-so-softly else she’ll crumble and disappear.

How would I describe my current fascination with this word?

It’s a bit of a muddle really. I’m almost sure I’ve never used it in everyday speech, except maybe in my head.

The word is a little too formal and delicate for my akpu-caressed palate.

Like a correct Nigerian with home training, I have a healthy fear of being misjudged as conceited. The consequence is that you often concede small victories to self-awareness and so tuck in certain liberties.

So I roll around my new favourite pebble in my palm but show it to no one.

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Flashback to my old secondary school, oral English classes were very lively affairs but a lot of stuff never made it out of the classroom. You did not walk up to the school tuck shop immediately after class and ask Aunty Joy for a bun.

bun /bʌn/

1) A small cake, typically containing dried fruit
2) A bread roll

No, you did not do that. Rather, you deferred to your home training and jejely told them to give you N20 bonce.

Because in the context, a bun was an odd curiosity, exactly like a kerfuffle.

PS: Forget the butterfly, this is the picture of a kerfuffle in my mind. ☺