‘… and skirred to its mate …’

A swift, sweeping, sailing sort of word which obviously means to flee or to fly, run, sail or otherwise shift at speed. In dialect it can mean to slide or skate quickly. By extension, to traverse a stretch of land or water quickly especially in search of someone or something.

And for those of you who ever skimmed stones in your youth, skirr is another word for the same essential life skill.

Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in the two rivers, illus. C.F. Tunnicliffe (Harmondsworth: Puffin Books, 1976 (1927)), p. 21


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