The word fracas is quite a pulchritudinous noun that's basically a synonym of "chaos" or "ruckus". It was introduced to the English language in 1727 by Lady Mary Montagu, a well-traveled poet and vaccination enthusiast. Thereafter, the word rapidly grew more popular, reaching widespread usage in the late eighteenth century. Montagu borrowed it from French, where it especially denoted loud noises or crashes. That came in the 1400s from Italian fracassare, which is a weird word because it combined and shortened Latin infra- ("below"; from Proto-Indo-European hndi, "under") and Italian cassare, "to smash". Combining those two parts from different eras of lingual evolution, infracassare meant "to smash into pieces". Cassare is from Latin quassare, which meant "to shake" and comes from PIE keht, with the same meaning.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic. This year, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and Linguistics. There, I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society and wrote a thesis on Serbo-Croatian language policy, magna cum laude. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy philosophy, trivia, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.