"I like purple best," said Maida. "And old Schlegel has promised to make it for $8. It's going to be lovely. I'm going to have a plaited skirt and a blouse coat trimmed with a band of galloon under a white cloth collar with two rows of—"
“It's all clear,” he whispered. “Have you the chisel and the bags? Great Scott! Jump, Archie, jump, and I'll swing for it!” Sherlock Holmes had sprung out and seized the intruder by the collar. The other dived down the hole, and I heard the sound of rending cloth as Jones clutched at his skirts.
I had sprung to my feet. I was speaking, and yet I had prepared no words. Tarp Henry, my companion, was plucking at my skirts and I heard him whispering, "Sit down, Malone! Don't make a public ass of yourself."
"Mate," said the Cockney, after we'd finished about half the bottle, "it comes to me that we're a couple o' blightin' idjits to be workin' for a skirt." "What d'ya mean?" I asked, taking a pull at the bottle. "Well, 'ere's us, two red-blooded 'e-men, takin' orders from a lousy little frail, 'andin' the swag h'over to 'er, and takin' wot she warnts to 'and us, w'en we could 'ave the 'ole lot. Take this job 'ere now--"
(article of clothing): It was formerly common to speak of “skirts” (plural) rather than “a skirt”. In some cases this served to emphasize an array of skirts of underskirts, or of pleats and folds in a single skirt; in other cases it made little or no difference in meaning.
An enormous man and woman (it was early-closing day) were stretched motionless, with their heads on pocket-handkerchiefs, side by side, within a few feet of the sea, while two or three gulls gracefully skirted the incoming waves, and settled near their boots.
1950 January, Arthur F. Beckenham, “With British Railways to the Far North”, in Railway Magazine, page 6:
As we skirted the shores of the Dornoch Firth, between Tain and Bonar Bridge, the views across the water to the Sutherland mountains were particularly fine in the early morning sunshine.
A “moving platform” scheme[…]is more technologically ambitious than maglev trains even though it relies on conventional rails. Local trains would use side-by-side rails to roll alongside intercity trains and allow passengers to switch trains by stepping through docking bays. […] This would also let high-speed trains skirt cities as moving platforms ferry passengers to and from the city centre.
2020 November 18, Paul Bigland, “New infrastructure and new rolling stock”, in Rail, page 51:
I'd forgotten how scenic parts of the line are - the railway crosses a host of streams while meandering through meadows or skirting woodland.
(figurative) To avoid or ignore (something); to manage to avoid (something or a problem); to skate by (something).
He skirted the issue of which parties to attend by staying at home instead.
2023 September 5, Arwa Mahdawi, “Why all the Burning Man schadenfreude? Where do I start ...”, in The Guardian, →ISSN:
To be clear: I’m not saying Katyal helped a large corporation skirt child slavery laws, I’m just saying that he is the sort of guy who is a typical Burning Man attendee these days: the establishment in a goofy hat.