hubbub, hullabaloo

KYC

Senior Member
Mandarin
Hello, there:

I learned two terms "hubbub" and "hullabaloo" which means a lot of noise.
I am wondering if they can be interchable.They both are translated into the same words in Chinese. Also, I can't tell the difference between them from the dictionary clearly.
For example, I was scared by the hullabaloo over my arrival.
May I also change it into I was scared by the hubbub over my arrival?

For example, There area hubbub of excited conversaton from over a thousand people.
May I say There area hullabaloo of excited conversaton from over a thousand people?

Thanks for your help in advance!
 
  • Szkot

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Hubbub and hullabaloo are often defined as very similar in meaning. But hubbub can be used to refer to the normal background noise of a crowd of people, whereas hullabaloo always suggests some sort of uproar or disturbance.

    A hubbub need not be scary, so I would go for I was scared by the hullabaloo over my arrival.

    And I would use There was a hubbub of excited conversaton from over a thousand people unless the noise was unusually loud.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    "Hullabaloo" is slightly derogatory, in my opinion. It is dismissive, as if an unnecessary commotion has been stirred up. "Hubbub" is fairly neutral. Both are singular.

    For example, There is a hubbub of excited conversation from over a thousand people.
    May I say There is a hullabaloo of excited conversation from over a thousand people?


    I wouldn't say a hullabaloo of conversation. To me, hullabaloo stands alone. It is not a description of something else. "There is a hullabaloo." It describes the activity (an unnecessary fuss, generally) rather than the sound. You could say, "People made a big hullabaloo over my arrival."
     

    Antara Manova

    Member
    Bulgarian Bulgaria
    Hi,
    I'm wondering about hullabaloo - could it be used in the sense of causing a stir, like in this example:
    It’s already causing quite a hullabaloo."
    vs
    " It's already causing a stir."
    With it's I mean a cream's formula.
    I read about the slightly derogatory tone of hullabaloo.
     
    Last edited:

    Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Even in the cases where it might be possible to use hullaballo (the word doesn't necessarily have a negative connotation to me), it will make the speaker sound very quaint. I don't think I've ever said this word - or if I have, it was said in a joking manner.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I think these terms are becoming obsolete.

    Even in the cases where it might be possible to use hullaballo (the word doesn't necessarily have a negative connotation to me), it will make the speaker sound very quaint. I don't think I've ever said this word - or if I have, it was said in a joking manner.
    :thumbsup: Right.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    To me, 'hullabaloo' is definitely on the derogatory side, from the speaker's point of view, certainly these days and probably in the last 60 years. It suggests a lot of fuss and general drama about a relatively unimportant situation.
    "Hullabaloo about/for nothing" is the collocation.

    I would say "I can't even begin to understand the way people make such a hullabaloo about their wedding nowadays".
    "
    "There's such a ridiculous hullabaloo being made about this so called 'miracle', 'all-natural' face cream, when it's just sheep's fat and rose water beautifully packaged."
    "Hoo-haa" is a similar more colloquial word.
    I suppose 'hype' and its variations are the more modern equivalents.

    Edit: Correct spelling of hullabaloo
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    For me "hubbub" is a loud white noise made by many speakers. I don't think this term is obsolete and I think it is still useful.

    I agree with Hermione that is usually used in reference to loud and annoying vocal noises.

    "What's all that hullabaloo about? I'm trying to concentrate."

    I think that hullabaloo is still a useful word. I cannot think of another that will shoehorn in with the exact meaning.

    My spell checker insists that there are only three "L"s in hullabaloo.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I also agree that hubbub and hullabaloo are still useful words that can be used today. Hullabaloo is definitely negative for me. It can be used for a loud commotion or a more metaphorical one (in the way suggested by Hermione). My sense is that the metaphorical one is more common these days.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Just a couple comments. Hullabaloo is definitely an out-of-date term. Hubbub is still in common use.

    A stir is a mild thing. Just to make it medium we have to say quite a stir. If it gets a lot noisier, it may grow into a hallabaloo.

    I like Hermione's examples. Another example is a father shouting down to a group of kids in the basement, who have gotten raucously loud: what's that hullabaloo?
     
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