lark

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See also: Lark

English[edit]

A Crested lark, of the Alaudidae family

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English larke, laverke, from Old English lāwerce, lǣwerce, lāuricæ, from Proto-Germanic *laiwarikǭ, *laiwazikǭ (compare dialectal West Frisian larts, Dutch leeuwerik, German Lerche), from *laiwaz (borrowed into Finnish leivo, Estonian lõo), of unknown ultimate origin with no known cognates outside of Germanic.

Noun[edit]

lark (plural larks)

  1. Any of various small, singing passerine birds of the family Alaudidae.
  2. Any of various similar-appearing birds, but usually ground-living, such as the meadowlark and titlark.
  3. (by extension) One who wakes early; one who is up with the larks.
    Synonyms: early bird, early riser
    Antonyms: owl
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Verb[edit]

lark (third-person singular simple present larks, present participle larking, simple past and past participle larked)

  1. To catch larks.
    to go larking

References[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Origin uncertain, either

  • from a northern English dialectal term lake/laik (to play) (around 1300, from Old Norse leika (to play (as opposed to work))), with an intrusive -r- as is common in southern British dialects; or
  • a shortening of skylark (1809), sailors' slang, "play roughly in the rigging of a ship", because the common European larks were proverbial for high-flying; Dutch has a similar idea in speelvogel (playbird, a person of markedly playful nature).

Noun[edit]

lark (plural larks)

  1. A romp, frolic, some fun.
    • 1838, Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Chapter 43,[1]
      ‘Ha! ha!’ laughed Master Bates, ‘what a lark that would be, wouldn’t it, Fagin? I say, how the Artful would bother ’em wouldn’t he?’
  2. A prank.
    • 1913, George Bernard Shaw, “Act V”, in Pygmalion:
      DOOLITTLE. [] thanks to your silly joking, he leaves me a share in his Pre-digested Cheese Trust worth three thousand a year on condition that I lecture for his Wannafeller Moral Reform World League as often as they ask me [] .
      HIGGINS. The devil he does! Whew! [Brightening suddenly] What a lark!
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Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

lark (third-person singular simple present larks, present participle larking, simple past and past participle larked)

  1. To sport, engage in harmless pranking.
    • 1855, Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South, Chapter 35,[2]
      [] the porter at the rail-road had seen a scuffle; or when he found it was likely to bring him in as a witness, then it might not have been a scuffle, only a little larking []
  2. To frolic, engage in carefree adventure.
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

References[edit]

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