Hugger-mugger



[huhg-er-muhg-er] /ˈhʌg ərˌmʌg ər/

noun
1.
disorder or confusion; muddle.
2.
secrecy; reticence:
Why is there such hugger-mugger about the scheme?
adjective
3.
secret or clandestine.
4.
disorderly or confused.
verb (used with object)
5.
to keep secret or concealed; hush up.
verb (used without object)
6.
to act secretly.
/ˈhʌɡəˌmʌɡə/
noun
1.
confusion
2.
(rare) secrecy
adjective, adverb (archaic)
3.
with secrecy
4.
in confusion
verb (obsolete)
5.
(transitive) to keep secret
6.
(intransitive) to act secretly

also huggermugger, “secretly,” 1520s, one of a number of similar-sounding reduplicated words in use around this time and meaning much the same thing, including hucker-mucker, which may be the original of the bunch if the root is, as some think, Middle English mukre “to hoard up, conceal.” Also cf. Middle English hukmuck, late 15c., name of some sort of device for cleansing.

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