huggermugger

hugger-mugger

[huhg-er-muhg-er]
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.

Origin:
1520–30; earlier hucker-mucker, rhyming compound based on mucker, Middle English mokeren to hoard

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hugger-mugger (ˈhʌɡəˌmʌɡə)
 
n
1.  confusion
2.  rare secrecy
 
adj, —adv
3.  with secrecy
4.  in confusion
 
vb
5.  (tr) to keep secret
6.  (intr) to act secretly
 
[C16: of uncertain origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

huggermugger
"secretly," 1529, from Fr., earlier hucker mucker, of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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