Posted by James Briggs on May 11, 2003
In Reply to: Larking about posted by Angri of 'Uddersfield on May 11, 2003
: Can anyone shed any light on the origins of the phrase 'larking about' . .? It has several (UK) regional derivatives, 'Lakin' being just one.
: Commonly used, 'Larking about' means to mess around (when one should be paying attention', but in the North of England it's also used by children to describe 'playing' andby adults to mean 'sciving' . . any help out there?
To lark about is to play around; to frolic; to go on a spree. The main word seems inappropriate until one realises that it comes from the Middle English 'laik', to play, and the Old English 'lac', a contest. To Skylark is a modern extension.