What does Foofaraw mean?

Foofaraw is a popular slang term, used for unnecessary, excessive decorations or, in more recent contexts, for a veritable Hot mess.


What's the origin of Foofaraw?

“Foofaraw” started appearing in the Western regions of the United States, and the most valid etymological explanation for it links it to the French and Spanish expression “Fanfaron” or “Fanfarrón” meaning boastful and arrogant respectively.

During the 1800’s, the predominant meaning of the expression was that of flashy, excessive appearance and decorations, which supports the aforementioned hypothesis of linking the term to adjectives such as boastful and arrogant.

Spread & Usage

How did Foofaraw spread?

The first documented case of the term “Foofaraw” in its current form and spelling can be found in Volume 102 of The Judge, published in 1932.

Although it retained a significant presence in the 1930’s, following World War 2, it started falling back.

Today, “Foofaraw” is mostly encountered in crosswords, where one has no clue what the answer should be.

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