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Confusiona confused collection or assemblage. See also chaos, clutter.
at loose ends Unsettled, undecided, lacking direction or goal; uncommitted to one’s present position and uncertain of one’s future status. A loose end is anything that is left hanging or not properly attached, as a piece of fabric or a seemingly superfluous detail. A person is “at loose ends” when his life lacks coherence or a sense of direction as exemplified in the following fragment quoted in Webster’s Third:
… feeling himself at loose ends—no job, no immediate prospects. (Dixon Wecter)
See also tie up the loose ends, COMPLETION.
at sea Confused, perplexed; without direction, design, or stability; in a state of uncertainty. Figurative use of this expression dates from the mid-18th century and is based on an analogy to a ship lost at sea, having no bearings and out of sight of land. At sea can refer to a person or state of affairs. All adrift is an analogous nautical expression with a similar figurative meaning ‘aimless, confused.’
knock for a loop To disorient someone by saying or doing something shocking or unexpected; to strike a blow and cause one to lose balance and fall. The loop in this modern slang expression derives from the aeronautical term for the mid-air maneuver of an airplane. To knock someone for a loop is to hit that person hard enough to make him do a somersault. The feeling of dizziness and disorientation is carried over into the more common figurative use.
That little charade of hers had knocked him for a loop. (D. Ramsey, Deadly Discretion, 1973)
Also current is throw for a loop.
I was really confused. That memorandum threw me for a loop. (E. Ambler, Intercom Conspiracy, 1969)
knock galley-west See COMBAT.
lose one’s bearings To become lost; to lose all sense of direction; to become hopelessly disoriented, confused, or bewildered. In this expression, bearings carries the literal meaning of reference points or directions in relation to one’s position; thus, the term’s use to describe a person who is lost or disoriented.
not know if one is afoot or on horseback So completely confused as to not know what one is doing, thoroughly befuddled or mixed-up; not to know whether one is coming or going. This self-evident American colloquialism dates from the late 19th century.
“Fay Daniels!” gasps the girl, which don’t know if she’s afoot or horseback—and neither did I. (Collier’s, October, 1927)
not to know if one is coming or going Not to know what one is doing; extremely confused or mixed-up; not to know which end is up; ignorant, stupid.
There’s nobody at the Town Hall could take it on. Town Clerk doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. (J. B. Priestley, Fest. Frabridge, 1951)
Use of the phrase dates from at least 1924.
not to know which end is up See IGNORANCE.
not to make head nor tail of See make head or tail of, DIFFERENTIATION.
slaphappy See FATUOUSNESS.
|Noun||1.||confusion - disorder resulting from a failure to behave predictably; "the army retreated in confusion"|
disorder - a disturbance of the peace or of public order
demoralisation, demoralization - a state of disorder and confusion; "his inconsistency resulted in the demoralization of his staff"
bluster - noisy confusion and turbulence; "he was awakened by the bluster of their preparations"
bedlam, chaos, pandemonium, topsy-turvydom, topsy-turvyness - a state of extreme confusion and disorder
hugger-mugger - a state of confusion; "he engaged in the hugger-mugger of international finance"
|2.||confusion - a mental state characterized by a lack of clear and orderly thought and behavior; "a confusion of impressions"|
disorientation - confusion (usually transient) about where you are and how to proceed; uncertainty as to direction; "his disorientation was the result of inattention"
distraction - mental turmoil; "he drives me to distraction"
half-cock - confusion resulting from lack of preparation
jamais vu - the experience of being unfamiliar with a person or situation that is actually very familiar; associated with certain types of epilepsy
bafflement, befuddlement, bemusement, bewilderment, mystification, obfuscation, puzzlement - confusion resulting from failure to understand
perplexity - trouble or confusion resulting from complexity
|3.||confusion - a feeling of embarrassment that leaves you confused|
embarrassment - the shame you feel when your inadequacy or guilt is made public
|4.||confusion - an act causing a disorderly combination of elements with identities lost and distinctions blended; "the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel"|
babel - a confusion of voices and other sounds
|5.||confusion - a mistake that results from taking one thing to be another; "he changed his name in order to avoid confusion with the notorious outlaw"|
bewilderment solution, explanation, enlightenment, clarification
disorder order, organization, arrangement, neatness, tidiness
"Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood" [Henry Miller Tropic of Capricorn]
"with ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,"
"Confusion worse confounded" [John Milton Paradise Lost]
to be in confusion → estar en desorden
to retire in confusion → retirarse en desorden
people were in a state of confusion → la gente estaba desorientada
in all the confusion I forgot it → lo olvidé en medio de tanta confusión
I heard a confusion of voices → oí unas voces confusas