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higgledy-piggledy

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. In utter disorder or confusion: "There is something delightfully and liberatingly ludicrous about parading higgledy-piggledy in a line of walkers of all shapes and sizes” ( Christa Worthington).
  • adj. Topsy-turvy; jumbled.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. In utter disorder or confusion; mixed up.
  • adv. In a confused, disordered, or random way.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In confusion; topsy-turvy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In confusion; in a disorderly manner; topsy-turvy.
  • Confused; tumbled; disorderly.
  • n. Confusion; disorder.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. in a disordered manner
  • adj. in utter disorder

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • This once "higgledy-piggledy" historic home in the Township of Morris, N.J., was given a more coherent layout by the current owners.

    N.J. Colonial With Farm Roots

  • Turpin Real Estate Ms. Higgins said the additions that were tacked on over the years by previous owners made the house 'a little higgledy-piggledy.'

    N.J. Colonial With Farm Roots

  • At the York complex, manufacturing operations that used to be spread higgledy-piggledy around more than 20 buildings have been funneled into one main factory.

    Harley, With Macho Intact, Tries to Court More Women

  • It is a classic Gehry structure, formed from undulating polished steel and tumbling blocks of brushed aluminium that reminds Berners-Lee, he tells me, of the higgledy-piggledy Italian village one of his relatives grew up in.

    The MIT factor: celebrating 150 years of maverick genius

  • Your room is a little higgledy-piggledy and could use a bit of tailored neatness.

    It

  • At the moment I have left the list higgledy-piggledy, like a jumble sale of books, as it appealed to me that way.

    50 Best Books « Tales from the Reading Room

  • I mean to level the skyline, modernising the structure; it has a disorganised higgledy-piggledy feel at the moment—not surprising, as it has been rebuilt relentlessly during the last eight centuries.

    Exit the Actress

  • In the previous post I ran through the precedents of the story, but sticking all of those ideas together higgledy-piggledy would be a mess.

    The Primordial Stew Of Imagination, Part 2 « The Graveyard

  • Back in the 1990s a friend, tired of the usual fan's attempts to bring about victory for Middlesbrough using the paraphernalia of lucky clothing and the like and, to be honest, during the higgledy-piggledy reign of Bryan Robson even Imelda Marcos would have exhausted her wardrobe in pursuit of something that would halt a post‑Christmas slump, determined on what appeared a foolproof scheme – a retrospectively effective charm.

    The winning secret of Sir Alex Ferguson's lucky underpants | Harry Pearson

  • A crowded convention center floor, clearly, is not place to display or look at art works, mixed higgledy-piggledy with thousands of others, all of wildly divergent quality which ranges from the schlockiest of schlock to the occasional surprising new discovery or the familiar masterpiece.

    Peter Clothier: At The 2011 Los Angeles Art Fair: Yisrael K Feldsott

Comments

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  • Example: From:
    National Public Radio, the Diane Rehm Show, June 30, 2015, "Financial Trouble in Puerto Rico and Greece"
    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2015-06-30/troubles-in-puerto-rico-and-greece-and-what-they-mean-for-other-economies

    "So this is a really important point. The governor, on Monday, said, "The debt is not payable." Right? When the debt is not payable, you can't legislate your way out of it. You can't legislate out of zero, right? So the only options are default. And when the government says, "We can't pay." You can pretty much be sure that not everybody is going to get paid in full and on time. So that's a foregone conclusion. So then the question is, how are they going to default? Are they going to default in an orderly, legislative framework? Or are they going to default higgledy-piggledy, we'll see how it works."

    Speaker: Anna Gelpern professor of law, Georgetown University; nonresident senior fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    July 4, 2015

  • Should definitely see the list double-dactyls

    July 29, 2013

  • Comment about Edinburgh on Digg referring to a video of Danny McAskill riding over, through, and beyond your wildest dreams.

    January 1, 2010

  • We theatrical ladies are no slaves to form, but live higgledy-piggledy with the men.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 3 ch. 5

    September 13, 2008

  • At a party where she (Dorothy Parker) was seated with Somerset Maugham, the author asked if she would write a poem for him. "I will if you like," Miss Parker said, and scribbled out:

    Higgledy Piggledy, my white hen;
    She lays eggs for gentlemen.

    "Yes, I've always liked those lines," Mr. Maugham commented.

    Miss Parker bestowed a cool smile and without an instant's hesitation added:

    You cannot persuade her with a gun or lariat;
    To come across for the proletariat.



    February 6, 2008