This has now come to mean a fuss or an unnecessary complication; a situation that has gone slightly out of control, usually accompanied with unproductive and pointless discussion. It is the latter nuance, which reveals its origin. It was originally a Portuguese word palavra meaning talk or discussion. It was borrowed from the Portuguese by British sailors who thought that Portuguese traders indulged in excessive ‘palaver’ with West African tribes. The Portuguese word was adapted as palaver and taken into Standard English in the early 1700s as meaning profuse and unnecessary chatter. Thereafter, it eventually developed its current meaning, probably because of the prevailing British attitude that having to speak any foreign language is a bit of a palaver.