The following expression seems to be quite common:

without further ado

Despite “ado” is a word with its own meaning I do not hear native speakers use it much separately. Is it the word that is mostly used only as a part of the phrase?

1 Answer 1


The word "ado" is an example of an archaic word surviving as part of familiar idioms. "Without further ado" is a fairly common expression, as is "much ado about nothing", which is the title of a Shakespeare play, and most native speakers are familiar with these expressions. Beyond these idioms, the word "ado" in isolation isn't used much at all. Some comments to this answer have suggested that the word might be used in some regional British dialects, but in other English speaking countries, it is not used at all. As a native British English speaker myself, I haven't heard it used outside of the two idioms but evidently, in some remoter regions, it might be.

A similar word "to-do" (meaning more worry/work than ought to be necessary) is used a little more in British English, and you will find a few more modern examples using it. This ngram compares the use of "a to-do" and "an ado" in literature.

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    if you said "I tried to transfer the registration of my second car to my daughter but it involved so much ado that I left it until after my holiday', nobody would turn a hair, at least in Britain. Aug 25, 2020 at 17:32
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    However, in many parts of Australia and America, and with many people, you’d definitely be laughed at, so be cautious, @UntappedSoul Aug 25, 2020 at 22:57
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    @MichaelHarvey At least in Alberta, Canada, and I expect all of the English speaking part of the country, I'm pretty sure that using «ado» this way would be rare to the point of nonexistence. «To-do» would, I think, be understood, although I would probably use either «fuss» or «hassle» if I wasn't being intentionally slightly old fashioned. Aug 26, 2020 at 7:12
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    @MichaelHarvey I'm British and I would defintely turn a hair - I'd think you'd said "ado" instead of "to-do".
    – Astralbee
    Aug 26, 2020 at 7:49
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    @MichaelHarvey I'm from Lancashire, my wife is from Yorkshire. People from Lancashire do say "what a to-do!". In 45 years of living in Lancashire I have never heard anyone say "what an ado!"
    – Astralbee
    Aug 26, 2020 at 7:59

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