Word of the week: hugger-mugger

I was delighted when last Thursday, days after posting my first word of the week – ‘scuttlebutt’, I actually heard it used for the first time in a genuine conversation. May this good luck bowl over into the next choices of words of the week. I wholeheartedly encourage you to use this next one if the occasion should present itself, although I’m not sure how many times it has actually been employed since it was coined in the early 16th century. I say bring back hugger-mugger!


1. disorder or confusion;
2. secrecy; reticence: Why is there such hugger-mugger about the scheme?

3. secret or clandestine.
4. disorderly or confused: That’s a completely hugger-mugger idea, it will never work.

5. to keep secret or concealed; hush up.
6. to act in a secretive manner: I’m sick of all these sneaky types, creeping around and hugger-muggering the whole time.

modern usage
7. People who stand on street corners with signs asking to give out “Free Hugs”. Usually the intended feelings of good cheer and peace intended by these individuals comes across as creepy and vaguely inappropriate in an undefinable manner. (Urban Dictionary)


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