The origin of hugger-mugger is unknown; perhaps it is from Anglo-Irish cuggermugger, a whispering, a low-voiced gossiping, from Irish cogair, whisper.
- Secret; clandestine; sly.
- We have done but greenly in hugger-mugger to inter him. Hamlet, Act iv. so. 5.
- Confused; disorderly; slovenly; mean; as, hugger-mugger doings.
- 1942, As we passed through the quadrangle the church was glowing more brightly than a pearl, like a lily in strong sunlight, in spite of all the scaffolding and hugger-mugger. — Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Canongate 2006, p. 990)
- See also Wikisaurus:covert