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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).

HUGMAHUSH, n. Also hagmahush. [hʌgmə′hʌʃ]

1. A slovenly person, a slattern (Abd.4 1931, hagmahush), a loutish fellow. Also used attrib. = slovenly (Abd. 1825 Jam., Abd. 1953 M. M. Stewart, hugmahush; Kcd. 1957).Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings 6:
O laddy! ye're a hagmahush; Yer face is barked o'er wi' smush.
Sc. 1825 Aberdeen Censor 155:
The Laird was like to burst with rage at being fickled by sic a hag-ma-hush carle.
Abd. 1898 J. R. Imray Sandy Todd x.:
That hug-ma-hush ganjin' clorach o' a deem, Eppie Mowatt, wha pat oot sic a spin aboot's the nicht ye cam' here.
Bnff. 1955 Banffshire Jnl. (19 July):
A roch, hug-ma-hush, unshaven an' unshorn, gyaun-aboot kine o' a lad.

2. An incompetent or slovenly piece of work.Abd. 1882 T. Mair John o' Arnha's Latter-day Exploits 103:
Nae hagmahush o' scythin' then, The reapers a' were gweed.

3. Secrecy, clandestine intercourse.Abd. 1882 W. Forsyth Writings 25:
Nor thocht whan i' their hugmahush, They snool't their heartless business throu'.

[A fanciful formation influenced by such words as Huggery-Muggery, Hushle. 3. is a nonce misunderstanding of the word, under the influence of hush, Hudge-mudge.]

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"Hugmahush n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2022 <>



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