Green’s Dictionary of Slang

row n.1

[virtually SE today, row began as sl. and is cited as ‘a very low expression’ in Todd’s revision of Johnson’s Dict. (1818)]

[mid-18C+] a disturbance, a noisy quarrel; thus what’s the row? what’s all the noise about? (cites 1873, 1896 are weaker use, i.e. what’s the problem?).

In phrases

hold your row

[late 19C-1920s] to be quiet, usu. as excl.

kick up a row (v.)

[late 18C+] to cause trouble, to create a disturbance.

row up (v.) [mid–late 19C]

1. to wake up someone roughly and noisily.

2. to scold, to criticize.

shut one’s/the row (v.) (also shut (up) one’s noise)

[late 19C+] to be quiet, esp. as imper.