Words related to higgledy-piggledy

hugger-mugger (adv.)
also huggermugger, "secretly, privately," 1520s, one of a number of similar-sounding reduplicated words in use around this time and meaning much the same thing, including hucker-mucker, which may be the original of the bunch if the basis is, as some think, Middle English mukre "to hoard up, conceal." Also compare Middle English hukmuck, late 15c., name of some sort of device for cleansing.
humdrum (adj.)
"routine, monotonous, dull, commonplace," 1550s, probably a reduplication of hum. As a noun, "monotony, tediousness," from 1727; earlier it meant "dull person" (1590s).
1732 (adj.), 1750 (adv.), 1754 (n.); probably a reduplication of hurry formed with awareness of scurry.
jibber-jabber (v.)
1728, "to talk gibberish," reduplication of jabber (q.v.). Related: Jibber-jabbering. As a noun from 1813, also gibber-gabber. Compare gibble-gabble "idle talk, chatter" (c. 1600). Jibber (v.) is attested from 1824.
shilly-shally (v.)
"to vacillate," 1782, from adverbial expression to stand shilly-shally (1703), earlier shill I, shall I (1700), a fanciful reduplication of shall I? (compare wishy-washy, dilly-dally, etc.). From 1734 as an adjective, by 1755 as a noun. Related: Shilly-shallying (1816).
topsy-turvy (adv.)
1520s, "but prob. in popular use from an earlier period" [OED]; compare top over terve "to fall over" (mid-15c.); likely from tops, plural of top (n.1) "highest point" + obsolete terve "turn upside down, topple over," from Old English tearflian "to roll over, overturn," from Proto-Germanic *terbanan (source also of Old High German zerben "to turn round"). Century Dictionary calls it "A word which, owing to its popular nature, its alliterative type, and to ignorance of its origin, leading to various perversions made to suggest some plausible origin, has undergone, besides the usual variations of spelling, extraordinary modifications of form." It lists 31 variations. As an adjective from 1610s.

Page 2