Friday, December 11, 2015

Word of the day: skirl

The word of the day is skirl:
  1. to play the bagpipe.
  2. Scot. and North England to shriek.

c.1400, "to make a shrill sound," from a Scand. source (cf. Norw. skyrla, skrella "to shriek"), of imitative origin. In reference to bagpipes, it is attested by 1665 and now rarely used otherwise.


"Voices would skirl up in the darkness: one person singing a lullaby, then another person, until everyone was asleep."

 - Charles Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

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