WOTD: Hugger-Mugger

Word of the Day - Thursday, April 01, 2010
hugger-mugger \HUH-guhr-muh-guhr\
1. A disorderly jumble; muddle; confusion.
2. Secrecy; concealment.
1. Confused; muddled; disorderly.
2. Secret.
1. In a muddle or confusion.
2. Secretly.
transitive verb:
1. To keep secret.
intransitive verb:
1. To act in a secretive manner.

I like to get my word of thee Days off Dictionary.com as it really does save me the trouble of having to pick a random word myself each day.

I’ve often wondered how they choose the WOTD. I’m quite certain that now it’s some kind of computer generated system, that picks a word at random, but I’d like to think that previously someone opened the Dictionary to a random page, closed their eyes and pointed.
I like to imagine a gut (or gal, I’m not one to discriminate) getting up in the morning (possibly on the east coast, so the WOTD is up right away), and groggily wondering out of bed to a giant dictionary, that, I’d like to think, take up the entire living room (or is that just my dream?). He (or she) pours a cup of coffee, and saunters over thee big book. After carefully selecting a page, he puts the cup of coffee down and throwing all of his body weight into it, he flips the book open. (Let’s just hope he stretched first.)
Picking a random word could be as easy as closing his eyes, spinning a few times and pointing, or perhaps throwing a coin in the air and seeing where it lands.

It could be a huge performance or just a simple procedure, but that it’s what I like to imagine, rather than a computerized system, that probably posts the word automatically.

However, I’ve wasted too much time already on that, and now on the word.
I have to admit, I’ve never heard this word.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say it, and I've certainly never said it myself, but as with most WOTD’s, I’m going to try.
For the most part, this word is 50/50 ‘confusing’ and ‘secret’, not to mention, it’s actually a little bit confusing. (sorry, that was a bad pun, even for me)
As a noun, my first thought was a mugger giving you a hug. It would be exactly what the first definition says it is: “A disorderly jumble; muddle; confusion.”

“Oh, hey stranger, I don’t know you, but you look like you’re going in for a hug. Oh you are going in for a hug. Hmm, well I don’t know how I feel about that, you don’t look very trustworthy.
Oh, what’s that? You are trust worthy, well in that case, come here you big grizzly bear!
My goodness that was a good hug!


Why are you running away? I think I want another one of those bad boys. I haven’t been hugged like that since 19 ‘ought 2!
Well okay, I’ll be seeing you, kind stranger! Bye!!

Hey, where’s my wallet?

Oh Goddammit!! You Hugger-Mugger!!”

Now if that isn’t a confusing situation, I don’t know what else would be?

As for the other definitions of the words and all the other types of words it can be, I’m happy to leave those ones to the professionals.

“I followed him to that hugger-mugger cabin he had hidden in the oaks on the other side of the swale and nipped behind the trees.”
-- Roy Parvin, The Loneliest Road in America

It seems a little redundant to me to say he had a Hugger-mugger cabin hidden in the woods, because I was under the impression that hugger-mugger meant secretive, which implies it’s hidden, but Roy Parvin wrote a M*therF*cking book, so I’ll let it go… this time.

You better watch your back though, Roy!

I don’t know if I’ll be able to use this WOTD myself today (mostly because I can only picture my own interpretation of the word).
I don’t particularly want to hug a stranger and take their wallet, nor do I want to be mugged today, but I will endeavour to use it anyways, even if I have to hide a cabin in the woods myself!

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