From Middle English lirten, lurten (“to cheat”), from Old English *lyrtan (found only in belyrtan (“to deceive”)), from Proto-Germanic *lurtijaną (“to deceive”), from Proto-Indo-European *lerd- (“to bend, crook”). Cognate with Scots lirt (“to cheat, deceive, delude”), Middle High German lürzen (“to deceive”), Middle High German lerz, lurz, lorz (“left, left-handed”), Old English lort, lyrt (“crooked”).
- (transitive, Britain dialectal) To deceive; beguile.
- (transitive, Britain dialectal) To cheat; befool.
lirt (plural lirts)
Origin obscure. Perhaps alteration of lirk (“to jerk”).