Definition of higgledy-piggledy in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌhiɡəldēˈpiɡəldē/

adverb& adjective

In confusion or disorder: [as adverb]: bits of paper hanging higgledy-piggledy on the furniture and walls [as adjective]: a higgledy-piggledy mountain of newspapers
More example sentences
  • It was the previous owner, John Hegarty, who commissioned Hewett to draw up plans for the new house, a higgledy-piggledy amalgamation of neo-Georgian elements, for which permission was granted.
  • Adding to the higgledy-piggledy feel of the pub is the situation of the bar, the main part is in one of the front rooms, with a serving hatch tucked under the stairs in the middle of the pub to serve the other rooms.
  • The site occupies the corner of a somewhat higgledy-piggledy plaza dominated by a small, historic church.
disordered, disorderly, disorganized, untidy, messy, chaotic, jumbled, muddled, confused, unsystematic, irregular;
out of order, in disarray, in a mess, in a muddle, haphazard
informal all over the place, upside-down, topsy-turvy
in disorder, in a muddle, in a jumble, in disarray, untidily, haphazardly, anyhow
informal all over the place, helter-skelter, topsy-turvy, every which way, pell-mell, any old how


Late 16th century: rhyming jingle, probably with reference to the irregular herding together of pigs.

  • This is a rhyming jingle probably used with reference to the herding together of pigs in a disorderly and confused way.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hig·gle·dy-pig·gle·dy

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words