Definition of katzenjammer in US English:



dated, informal
  • 1Confusion; uproar.

    • ‘The war and the next war have nothing to do with liberation or terrorism or any of that katzenjammer.’
    • ‘All of this criminal katzenjammer - and much, much more - was authorized at the highest levels, as top procurement brass and Pentagon officials confirmed.’
    • ‘And yet, in 1979, the man who loaned his prestigious name to this enormous katzenjammer denounced the parapsychologists for being weird.’
    1. 1.1 A hangover; a severe headache resulting from a hangover.
      • ‘The present invention relates to a composition for preventing and treating katzenjammers, and more particularly, to a composition comprising herb extracts for preventing and treating katzenjammers.’
      • ‘Imagine a cuisine that carries an nonpareil aroma of Portugal, covered with exotic Indian spices and soaked in the inescapable katzenjammer of Goa's favourite drink.’
      • ‘By now, my katzenjammer had eased to the point where my head only throbbed if I made sudden movements.’


Mid 19th century: from German Katzen (combining form of Katze ‘cat’) + Jammer ‘distress’; popularized by the cartoon Katzenjammer Kids, drawn by Rudolf Dirks in 1897 for the New York Journal, featuring two incorrigible children.