WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/
[ foo-fuh-raw ]
a great fuss or disturbance about something very insignificant.
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF FOOFARAW?
Foofaraw, “a great fuss over something very insignificant; excessive decoration or ornamentation, as on clothing or a building,” originated on the western frontier of the U.S. in the mid-19th century. Foofaraw, spelled fofarraw, used as an adjective meaning “gaudy, tawdry” first appears in print in June 1848 in a series of articles for Blackwood’s Magazine (published in Edinburgh) by George Ruxton, an English explorer and travel writer, who wrote about the Far West. Fofarrow used as a noun meaning “gaudy apparel” appears in the same magazine by the same author two months later, in August 1848. The sense “great fuss over something insignificant” dates from the early 1930s. The many variant spellings, such as fofarraw, fofarow, foofaraw, foofoorah, and 20 others, show that foofaraw has no reliable etymology. Speculations about the etymology of foofaraw include Spanish fanfarrón, a noun and adjective meaning “braggart, boaster” (perhaps from Arabic farfār “talkative”). Foofaraw may also come from French fanfaron, a noun and adjective with the same meanings as the Spanish. The French dialect form fanfarou may also have contributed to the American word.
HOW IS FOOFARAW USED?
Last week, Swedish movie theaters created a media foofaraw when they announced that they would begin providing a rating based on the Bechdel test for the films they screen.
HOLLY L. DERR, "WHAT REALLY MAKES A FILM FEMINIST?" THE ATLANTIC, NOVEMBER 13, 2013
Pound for pound, City Lights is almost certainly the best bookstore in the United States. It’s not as sprawling as the Strand, in Manhattan, or Moe’s Books, in Berkeley. But it’s so dense with serious world literature of every stripe, and so absent trinkets and elaborate bookmarks and candles and other foofaraw, that it’s a Platonic ideal.
DWIGHT GARNER, "LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI'S ENDURING SAN FRANCISCO," NEW YORK TIMES, MARCH 11, 2019