Origin: 1250–1300;Middle English (north) at do, a phrase equivalent to at to (< Old Norse, which used at with the infinitive) + dodo1
Can be confused: à deux, adieu, ado (see synonym study at the current entry).
Synonyms flurry; confusion, upset, excitement; hubbub, noise, turmoil. Ado, to-do, commotion, stir, tumult suggest a great deal of fuss and noise. Ado implies a confused bustle of activity, a considerable emotional upset, and a great deal of talking: Much Ado About Nothing.To-do now more commonly used, may mean merely excitement and noise and may be pleasant or unpleasant: a great to-do over a movie star.Commotion suggests a noisy confusion and babble: commotion at the scene of an accident.Stir suggests excitement and noise, with a hint of emotional cause: The report was followed by a tremendous stir in the city.Tumult suggests disorder with noise and violence: a tumult as the mob stormed the Bastille.
late 13c., compounded from at do, dialectal in Norse influenced areas of England for to do, as some Scandinavian languages used at with infinitive of a verb where Modern English uses to. For sense development, cf. to-do.