Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Hugger - mugger.

 Hug the Wind (To).Huggins and Muggins. 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Hugger - mugger.
 
The primary meaning is clandestinely. The secondary meaning is disorderly, in a slovenly manner. To hugger is to lie in ambush, from the Danish hug, huger, huggring, to squart on the ground; mugger is the Danish smug, clandestinely, whence our word smuggle.   1
   The king in Hamlet says of Polo’nius: “We have done but greenly in hugger-mugger to inter him”—i.e. to smuggle him into the grave clandestinely and without ceremony.   2
   Sir T. North, in his Plutarch, says: “Antonius thought that his body should be honourably buried, and not in hugger-mugger” (clandestinely).   3
   Ralph says:—   4
       
“While I, in hugger-mugger hid,
Have noted all they said and did.”
       
Butler: Hudibras, iii. 3.
   Under the secondary idea we have the following expressions:—He lives in a hugger-mugger sort of way; the rooms were all hugger-mugger (disorderly).   5
 


 Hug the Wind (To).Huggins and Muggins. 

 
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