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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[lahrk] /lɑrk/
a merry, carefree adventure; frolic; escapade.
innocent or good-natured mischief; a prank.
something extremely easy to accomplish, succeed in, or to obtain:
That exam was a lark.
verb (used without object)
to have fun; frolic; romp.
to behave mischievously; play pranks.
Fox Hunting. (of a rider) to take jumps unnecessarily:
He tired his horse by larking on the way home.
Origin of lark2
1805-15; origin uncertain
Related forms
larker, noun
larkiness, larkishness, noun
larkingly, adverb
larkish, larky, adjective
larkishly, adverb
larksome, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for larking
Historical Examples
  • Huggo, larking about in uniform long after he ought to have been out of it, was in immense feather with himself.

    This Freedom A. S. M. Hutchinson
  • The crew, too, had taken it in the spirit of larking––at first.

    Billy Topsail & Company Norman Duncan
  • "I was larking along with Gray and ran up agen him," said the man, in a sullen voice.

    Hurricane Island H. B. Marriott Watson
  • They understood perfectly the uncertain temper of "larking" woodsmen.

  • I have said that larking met with more than toleration—with sympathy.

  • In the morning, however, he was up singing and larking round the house.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • "I wish you fellows would stop your larking out there," he cried.

    Red Money Fergus Hume
  • "Dick and Alec larking again," observed the Commander dryly.

    The Great Airship. F. S. Brereton
  • It is early afternoon yet, too, and the larking and license are as nothing to what may be expected before midnight.

    Spanish Highways and Byways Katharine Lee Bates
  • We thought it was a cat at first, and then I thought there was no one there, and I was just larking.

British Dictionary definitions for larking


any brown songbird of the predominantly Old World family Alaudidae, esp the skylark: noted for their singing
short for titlark, meadowlark
(often capital) any of various slender but powerful fancy pigeons, such as the Coburg Lark
up with the lark, up early in the morning
Word Origin
Old English lāwerce, lǣwerce, of Germanic origin; related to German Lerche, Icelandic lǣvirki


a carefree adventure or frolic
a harmless piece of mischief
what a lark!, how amusing!
verb (intransitive)
(often foll by about) to have a good time by frolicking
to play a prank
Derived Forms
larker, noun
larkish, adjective
larkishness, noun
Word Origin
C19: originally slang, perhaps related to laik
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for larking

"fun, frolicking," 1813, from present participle of lark (v.); see lark (n.2).



"songbird," early 14c., earlier lauerche (c.1200), from Old English lawerce (late Old English laferce), from Proto-Germanic *laiw(a)rikon (cf. Old Saxon lewerka, Frisian liurk, Old Norse lævirik, Dutch leeuwerik, German Lerche), of unknown origin. Some Old English and Old Norse forms suggest a compound meaning "treason-worker," but there is no folk tale to explain or support this.

"spree, frolic," 1811, possibly shortening of skylark (1809), sailors' slang "play rough in the rigging of a ship" (larks were proverbial for high-flying), or from English dialectal lake/laik "to play" (c.1300, from Old Norse leika "to play," from PIE *leig- "to leap") with intrusive -r- common in southern British dialect. The verb lake, considered characteristic of Northern English vocabulary, is the opposite of work but lacks the other meanings of play. As a verb, from 1813. Related: Larked; larking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for larking



A merry time •Chiefly British (1811+)


: This is no time to go larking (1813+)

[origin uncertain; perhaps fr an allusion to the bird, since skylark in the same sense is found somewhat earlier]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with larking


In addition to the idiom beginning with lark also see: happy as the day is long (as a lark)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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