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alarums and excursions

Frantic activity that causes a clamor. Often seen in Elizabethan drama as a stage direction denoting military activity. What on earth is going on? The alarums and excursions in the living room woke me from a sound sleep—keep it down!
See also: and, excursion

alarms and excursions

confused activity and uproar. humorous
Alarm was formerly spelled alarum , representing a pronunciation with a rolling of the ‘r’; the phrase was originally a call summoning soldiers to arms. The whole phrase is used in stage directions in Shakespeare to indicate a battle scene.
See also: alarm, and, excursion