Origin of hugger-mugger

1520–30; earlier hucker-mucker, rhyming compound based on mucker, Middle English mokeren to hoard
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British Dictionary definitions for hugger-mugger

hugger-mugger

/ (ˈhʌɡəˌmʌɡə) /

noun

confusion
rare secrecy

adjective, adverb archaic

with secrecy
in confusion

verb obsolete

(tr) to keep secret
(intr) to act secretly

Word Origin for hugger-mugger

C16: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012