Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Secret; clandestine; sly.
  • adj. Confused; disorderly; slovenly; mean; as, hugger-mugger doings.

Etymologies

The origin of hugger-mugger is unknown; perhaps it is from Anglo-Irish cuggermugger, a whispering, a low-voiced gossiping, from Irish cogair, whisper. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • An old editor of mine in Providence used to call these kinds of stories the huggermugger.

    Inside the Southeast shootings story

  • Children, grandparents and others lived huggermugger in the cramped rooms, so couples adjourned to the woods for privacy.

    Wildwood

  • I remember her saying that, though her father was a very hard-worked doctor, and often had to take meals quickly and at odd times, he made it an absolute rule, no matter how busy he was, never to get into a rush, or be fussed, or do things in a huggermugger way.

    The Adventure of Living

  • The reply to the invitation, in the domain of applied ethics, is the revived and reinforced _Sklavenmoral_ that besets all of us of English speech -- the huggermugger morality of timorous, whining, unintelligent and unimaginative men -- envy turned into law, cowardice sanctified, stupidity made noble, Puritanism.

    A Book of Prefaces

  • Catherine, death comes to all, and yonder in the church-yard the poor dead lie together, huggermugger, and a man may not tell an archbishop from a rag-picker.

    The Line of Love Dizain des Mariages

  • As regards the name, I dare say it was something huggermugger in the mere sound -- something that I classed, for no particular reason, with the dark and ignorant sort of words, such as

    Widdershins

  • But what shall he do when pietists and other such cows from Suabia25 use the "finger of God" to convert their miserably commonplace and huggermugger existence into a miracle of "grace," a "providence" and an "experience of salvation".

    The Antichrist

  • Here I was allowed to sit by the fire for a few minutes to dry myself, after which I went off in the dark and rain to arrange billets for the Bn. Of course this is not really my business, but everything was so huggermugger that I thought I should get matters along that way.

    Letters of Lt.-Col. George Brenton Laurie (commanding 1st Battn. Royal Irish Rifles) Dated November 4th, 1914-March 11th, 1915

  • Suabia [25] use the "finger of God" to convert their miserably commonplace and huggermugger existence into a miracle of "grace," a

    The Antichrist

  • Many things have been done in huggermugger in our age, profane persons conceited that their privacy protected them from Divine inspection.

    Good Thoughts in Bad Times and Other Papers.

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