What the heck, you say, does hurkle-durkle mean?
Author: Esther Sarlo, BA, Founder | CEO | Myndful Spark of Mynd Myself
Well, having seen this term in a social media post this week, I decided to consult Haggard Hawks, a website dedicated to obscure words, language trivia, and etymological stories. And here’s what they shared…
To HURKLE-DURKLE, v. n. means ‘to lie in bed, or to lounge after it is time to get up or go to work.’
Hurkle-durkle likely comes from the old Scots verb hurkle, or hurkill, meaning ‘to draw the limbs together close to the body’. From there, it’s easy to see where the image of someone cozily curled up in bed, reluctant to get up, might develop.
Hurkle-durkle is an old dialect term—in this case, one from eighteenth century southern Scotland. One of its earliest records comes from John Jamieson’s Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language (1808): Jamieson points to durck or durch—an old Germanic word for the hold of a ship—as the word’s probable origin, perhaps seeing some kind of etymological connection between someone lurking in bed and someone lurking in the dim, grimy bottom of a ship. He should really try changing his sheets more often.
Enough obscure references though. Let’s get to the important bit. WHY should I hurkle-durkle?
Because self-care is imperative…and I think the more important questions is, why shouldn’t you hurkle-durkle?
There is absolutely nothing like staying curled up in the warm cocoon of soft flannel sheets under a snuggly duvet on a cold, crisp winter day. Especially on a weekend! The pull of hot beverages to be made, food to be prepped, and tasks to be done can be let go…even if just for a few moments.
Sometimes, in my now-rare dips into hurkle-durkling, I add a good novel to the mix. I let the world outside my bedroom pass me by, with all its hustle-bustle and obligations. I take ‘me time.’
When was the last time you deliberately and consciously planned some ‘me time?’
I know I don’t do it enough. This holiday season I am definitely going to SCHEDULE in some hurkle-durkling…multiple times. Though we enjoy our late evening chats and early morning connections, I know my honey doesn’t really like to stay in bed over-long as his big, busy brain and active nervous system propel him from the horizontal to the vertical much sooner than the natural proclivities of MY body and mind. And because he’s always up and about, if I choose to hurkle-durkle, my guess is, he’ll bring me breakfast in bed! Mmmmmmmm 😊.
I believe if we do not spend some time hurkle-durkling, especially during the flurry of holidays, we miss out on nurturing our souls. That delicious, luxurious space of acknowledging the wonder of being and reveling in the sensory (and perhaps sensual) pleasures of quiet coziness.
Doesn’t this just make you look forward to an opportunity to hurkle-durkle? I know I almost feel like shedding my clothes right now and diving back into bed.
As the inimitable Glennon Doyle says in her book, Untamed,
“I am here to keep becoming truer, more beautiful versions of myself again, and again forever. To be alive is to be in a perpetual state of revolution. Whether I like it or not, pain is the fuel of revolution. Everything I need to become the woman I’m meant to be next is inside my feelings of now. Life is alchemy, and emotions are the fire that turns me to gold. I will continue to become only if I resist extinguishing myself a million times a day. If I can sit in the fire of my own feelings, I will keep becoming.“
Please…no matter where you are in the world, take time this season to nestle into YOUR hurkle-durkle and let your feelings flow. Enjoy the silence…or put on your favourite music. Read a book. Unplug from tech. Meditate in silence. Celebrate being YOU. Become a truer, more beautiful you.
Here’s to holiday hurkle-durkling!