Friday, July 29, 2011

How Skylarking came to be.

Skylark, Word of the Day for Sunday, July 10, 2011, is another of those words whose original meaning has changed somewhat since the beginning. Technically, a Skylark is a brown-speckled European lark, (Alauda arvensis), famed for its melodious song, and for it’s flitting about in the sky. And it is from this latter habit, thanks to bored but playful sailors, that the more common meaning of skylark, as to frolic; or play around, is derived.
Yes. Skylark as a verb is nautical in origin, recorded from 1809, in reference to "wanton play about the rigging, and tops."
Apparently after some time at sea, the boredom set in and some of the sailors, to break the boredom, would play around aloft in the riggings and masts way up above, and to the people below, looked like Skylark birds, flitting around with just the sky behind them.
Well, that was then and Skylarking has come down to ground now, so to speak. And while sometimes a bit of skylarking can be fun and allow a bit of stream and pressure to be released, it often leads to serious accidents and incidents too. So by all means, have a little fun every now and then, but do be selective where and when, and also please be very careful that your fun doesn’t lead to a lifetime of misery and pain for others. Thank you.

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