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Some people love creating or fostering the creation of events that are noisy, chaotic and fun, such as parties, arguments, reunions, etc. Sometimes there's a negative connotation to this (like in provoking an argument), but sometimes there is not (like in organising a big, noisy party).

The word I'm looking for would be the English equivalent to the Spanish armadanzas, just in case this is helpful.

Any ideas?

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  • Love this question. I'm drawing a blank, but look forward to the answers.
    – jbelacqua
    Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 18:12
  • I like the word roisterer, but that doesn't necessarily refer to the person organizing the event.
    – Daniel
    Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 18:14
  • 2
    @drɱ65 δ: Roisterer is a bit like wassailer. Fine for Shakespeare, but I think today we'd more likely say hell-raiser, for example. Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 18:46
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    I usually call them annoying.
    – oosterwal
    Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 20:18
  • The image that comes to my mind is Puck.
    – user13141
    Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 20:31

6 Answers 6

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I quite like hell-raiser. The alternatives suggested here, like roisterer, wassailer, merrymaker, carouser and reveller all sound either dated or archaic to me.

For someone who isn't quite so "dangerously" boisterous, and not so closely associated with excess consumption of alcohol, there's always a live wire - a vivacious, alert, or energetic person. And as @RSG points out, there's also a party animal.

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A ring-leader is the organizer of a circus (literally or figuratively).

An instigator is someone who tries to start an argument or other confrontation.

A troll is someone who picks a fight online.

A cat herder is someone who tries to control an uncontrollable situation.

If someone is the focus of attention and is motivating party-goers, they are the life of the party.

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A few words come to mind, but have too much of a negative or political connotation (inciter, agitator, rabble-rouser). The most neutral one I can think of is firebrand:

  1. a piece of burning or glowing wood or other material
  2. a person who causes unrest or is very energetic

It still has a slight negative bias, but to my ear is not as negative as inciter or agitator. The 'very energetic' component suggests an agent of chaos, but not necessarily in a negative way.

Edit: For a more positive connotation, you could describe the person as Dionysian:

  1. of, pertaining to, or honoring Dionysus or Bacchus.
  2. recklessly uninhibited; unrestrained; undisciplined; frenzied; orgiastic.

Dionysus knew how to throw a good party.

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  • firebrand is normally positive, rather than neutral, but most metaphoric usages refer to people who are outspoken on large-scale political/cultural issues, and inspire/set the masses ablaze. Not exactly OP's 'party animal'. On the Greek side there's Bacchanalian as well, but they both imply drunken orgies to me (which may be what OP is thinking of anyway, for all I know). Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 23:59
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Colloquially, the phrase party animal is exactly what you described.

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  • Thanks, but party animal refers to anyone who loves to party rather than the person who creates or runs the show, which was my question.
    – CesarGon
    Commented Oct 1, 2011 at 9:35
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You could refer to that person as a reveler, where revel means:

To engage in uproarious festivities; make merry.

The Oxford English Dictionary adds:

A person who takes part in a revel or revelry; a person given to revelling; (hence) a person who leads a wild or disorderly life.

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provocateur comes to mind as a one word instigator.

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