Monday, September 13, 2010


Fuss. 1) a state of agitation especially over a trivial matter.
2) a display of affectionate excitement and attention.

As the advertisement for this London launderette suggests, a fuss is 1) needless worry or activity. Why sweat unnecessarily over your laundry if they can do it for you (at a price)?

Of course fuss is very subjective. What one sees as a trivial matter may be of great importance to another! Look at this headline from The Sun.

Fuss is also 2) a display of affectionate excitement and attention, which has a far more positive
connotation: e.g. Everyone made a fuss over her when she came out of hospital.

Make a fuss
also means to express annoyance or to complain, e.g. I don't want to make a fuss, but.. (the chips are cold, etc.) Anyone who has worked in customer service will be familiar with this gem - a fuss or complaint is exactly what they intend to make.


  1. Hey! This was my state today... Well, actually maybe it was not because it was not so trivial... :D

    Found very interesting how the same word can turn in to so different meanings being something kind of positive but also negative when it is used to complain. Guess that everything is excitement in the end ;)

  2. Indeed, the context is so important and the different nuances are endless - no wonder we never finish learning a language!