ado » to do

Chiefly in:   much to do about nothing , without further to do

Variant(s):  to-do

Classification: English – idiom-related

Spotted in the wild:

  • “It is much to do about nothing because I’m sure it involved human error.” (link)
  • “Much To-Do About Nothing. Why the city’s homeless plan is far from “ambitious.” by Doron Taussig.” (link)
  • “So without further to do lets see what’s new in PHP 5.” (link)
  • “Suddenly, Marc Andreessen appeared on WWW-talk and, without further to-do, introduced an idea for the IMG tag by the Mosaic team.” (link)

First pointed out to me by Thomas Grano, who was searching for occurrences of “much” as a mass determiner and found “much to do about nothing” in his data .

The “much to do about nothing” version is very common indeed: ca. 33,800 raw Google webhits on 13 April 2006; under a thousand for the “without further to do” version. Well, “ado” is rare in modern English except in these two fixed expressions, and “to-do” ‘commotion, fuss’ (which has an etymology parallel to “ado”) fits the overall meaning of both “much ado about nothing” and “without further ado”.

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2006/05/02 |

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