1546, variant of M.E. huisht (c.1380), probably of imitative origin, with terminal -t lost probably by being mistaken for a pt. suffix. Hush-hush (adj.) is 1916 reduplication. Hush-money is attested from 1709. Hush-puppy "deep-fried ball of cornmeal batter" first attested 1918; as a type of lightweight soft shoe, it is a proprietary name, registered 1961.