An example of topsy-turvy is when you had carefully-made plans and they got messed up at the last minute and everyone is running every which way with no idea where to go.
Origin of topsy-turvy
- Probably from top obsolete terve to overturn (from Middle English terven)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- Earlier topside-turvey, topsy-tervy; probably for top so turvy; that is, the top as turvy, as it were turvy, where turvy probably means "overturned", from Anglo-Saxon torfian to throw.