Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HULLABALOO, n. Also hulli(e)-, -y-; hal(l)a-, hally-, hallo(w)-, halloo-; hilli(e)-, hilly-, hille-; hollo(w)-; -bal(l)oo, -bal(l)ow, -ballou; -bul(l)oo, -bul(l)ow, -bullie; -beloo, -belew; -paloo, -phallu (Sh.); -bul(l)eerie, and shortened forms hall(y)ie (Abd. 1825 Jam.). An uproar, a clamour, a noisy disturbance. Now St.Eng. but orig. from Sc. and n.Eng. dial. Sc. 1762  Smollett Sir L. Greaves (1783) vii.:
I would there was a blister on this plaguy tongue of mine, for making such a hollow-ballow.
Sc. 1793  Tam Thrum Look before ye Loup 10:
Whaten a hilly-ballow's this amang ye?
Edb. 1828  D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xxiv.:
The laughing, daffing, and hullabaloo that they were making.
Rxb. 1875  N. Elliott Nellie Macpherson 141:
If the auld man draps in here, there will be a bonnie hullibaleerie.
Ayr. 1890  J. Service Notandums 27:
A terr'ble hullabaloo got up at the ither end of the table.
Abd. 1915  H. Beaton Benachie 27:
I sanna kick up a hulla-baloo aboot Geordie or ony idder body.
Sh. 1922  J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 36:
Wi da halapaloo o' da folk, an' da yarmin' o' da yows an' lambs, deil wird could I mak' oot.

[Reduplic. onomat. formation from hullo, halloo, etc., phs. with formal influence in second element from Bal(l)oo.]

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"Hullabaloo n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



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