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Snoodle, Hurkle-Durkle, Cwtch?

We love a bit of home comforts, and thought the time was right to explore some of the amazing words we have in the English language for snuggling down. So we’ve done a bit of digging, and found some glorious stuff to share. Please do read on to enjoy your snoodle time… 

We’ll start with the basics. Snuggling. It’s what we all love to do, but where does that deliciously evocative word come from? Well snuggle comes from snug. And snug is an old norse word meaning ‘protected from the weather’. They used to refer to a boat well tucked into harbour as a ‘snugg’. Makes sense, when you think about it. And that’s where you get phrases such as ‘snug as a bug in a rug’ and the (sadly less common) ‘snug as a bee in a box’ which first appeared in the 1700s. So there you have it. Snuggle in.

Ok, let’s move it on a level. What about snuzzling? This is a delightful marriage of snuggling and nuzzling. It’s snuggling, but with an extra chin tuck and face scrunch. Yep, like that face you’re pulling as you read this. Lovely. 

Then you’ve got snoddling and snoodging. These somewhat forgotten words refer to nestling in together. A bit like you and your other half under the ‘downstairs duvet’ as you settle in for ‘just one episode’. Netflix and snoddle anyone? Who doesn’t fancy a bit of that?

After that it gets really interesting. Fancy a cwtch? For those who haven’t got any Welsh in our lives, this is the most wonderful word, pronounced ‘kutch’. This means a hug or squeeze, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the feeling of being hugged or squeezed by someone that loves you, anything from the full bodied cuddle a mother gives a child through to the slightly lingering hug a good mate gives you when they know you need more than a passing pat on the back. And it’s about the feeling you get from that. So you might describe yourself as being ‘cwtched’ when you’re tucked right into your favourite cosy spot, safe from anything the world can throw at you and hugged all around by your favourite things. Heaven.

And finally (though we’re sure there’s hundreds more) our absolute favourite. Hurkle-durkle. I mean, honestly, do we even need to give it an explanation? Wouldn’t it be more fun if we all just started using it, and it found its own way in life? Nevertheless we’ve done a bit of research. Hurkle-durkle  is an ancient Scottish word phrase which describes lounging languidly in bed. Obviously it’s spoken of with some disdain, and used to frame laziness in old Scottish verse, but we think hurkle-durkling is something to be VERY proud of. However, our favourite bit of verse with it in is:

Lang after peeping, greke o’day

In hurkle-durkle Habbie lay.

Gae tae ye’r wark, ye dernan murkle,

And ly nae there in hurkle-durkle

(John Jamieson 1800s)

A ‘dernan murkle’ is a skulker, it’s a term of reproach for someone not pulling their weight. There’s something lovely in the knowledge that 200 years ago, just as today, people were being berated for oversleeping of a morning. Albeit significantly more poetically…

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