A brouhaha, from French brouhaha (possibly from a corruption of Hebrew בָּרוּךְ הַבָּא; barúkh habá, “welcome”, literally “blessed is he who comes”), is a state of social agitation when a minor incident gets out of control, sometimes referred to as an uproar or hubbub.
Typically, a brouhaha is marked by controversy and fuss that can seem, afterwards, to have been pointless or irrational.
In one such instance, in New York City, a dispute between a clinic entitled Upper Breast Side (that gives advice to young mothers about breastfeeding and bras) and a condo association erupted into a legal battle and was described in the Boston Globe as a brouhaha. The Washington Post described an incident as a brouhaha in which a passenger, on board a jetliner, reclined the seat to the point where it bothered a second passenger, resulting in a fistfight, intervention by flight attendants, and the plane returning to the airport escorted by fighter jets. In another instance, politics surrounding the choice of bus lanes in Los Angeles erupted in ineffective squabbling that ultimately did not help efforts to improve public transit in the metropolis.
- "brouhaha". The Free Dictionary. 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
An uproar; a hubbub.
- Joanna Weiss (March 20, 2011). "The baby and breast brouhaha". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
Let’s let the lawyers sort out the zoning disputes, and agree on this, instead: It’s doubtful this brouhaha would have come up if babies and breasts weren’t involved.
- Staff writer (June 1, 2011). "Airplane annoyance leads to brouhaha in the skies over D.C.". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
Before things got out of hand, it was a typical annoyance that happens once a flight gets airborne: A passenger hit the recline button and sent his seat intimately close to the lap of the guy sitting behind him. What followed wasn’t typical at all: a smack to the head, peacemakers diving about the cabin to intervene and a pair of Air Force F-16 fighter jets scrambling into the night skies over Washington.
- "A bus-only brouhaha: Bus-only lanes for Wilshire Boulevard are the latest casualty of the political wars over transit policy in L.A.". Los Angeles Times. February 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
Ever wonder why L.A.'s public transit system seems haphazard, with rail lines that don't go where they're most needed and inadequate bus service? A political battle over bus-only lanes on Wilshire Boulevard serves as an instructive example of the ways the best-designed plans of transit engineers are often thwarted.
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