skirling


Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

skirl

 (skûrl)
v. skirled, skirl·ing, skirls
v.intr.
To produce a high, shrill, wailing tone. Used of bagpipes.
v.tr.
To play (a piece) on bagpipes.
n.
1. The shrill sound made by the chanter pipe of bagpipes.
2. A shrill wailing sound: "The skirl of a police whistle split the stillness" (Sax Rohmer).

[Middle English skrillen, skirlen, probably of Scandinavian origin.]
References in classic literature ?
It was carried carefully from house to house, as if it were itself a child; my mother made much of it, smoothed it out, petted it, smiled to it before putting it into the arms of those to whom it was being lent; she was in our pew to see it borne magnificently (something inside it now) down the aisle to the pulpit-side, when a stir of expectancy went through the church and we kicked each other's feet beneath the book-board but were reverent in the face; and however the child might behave, laughing brazenly or skirling to its mother's shame, and whatever the father as he held it up might do, look doited probably and bow at the wrong time, the christening robe of long experience helped them through.
It airs out three and four part harmonies on top of scintillating banjo, skirling fiddles and Monroe-style mandolin all played to the insistent rhythms of guitar and doghouse bass.
Buchbinder's left-hand definition underpinned right-hand flights of fancy, bringing the soundworld of Chopin (whom Schumann did so much to encourage) very close, not least in the skirling waltz towards the end of an exhilarating finale, Buchbinder here joyously confronting all Schumann's mischievous conundrums.
"There have been very few of his paintings sold on the open market in the recent past so we are expecting it to be of considerable interest." Mr Howe, who lived from 1780 to 1836, was from Skirling in Peeblesshire, Scotland, and was best known as an animal painter.
PIPE DOWN It was ear defenders on for one wee girl who found skirling too much to bear
He was given a cup of wine and stood watching as the groaning and skirling gave way to a stately pavane.
Forfar five, East Fife three, For Brechin bairns the milk comes free, As Rabbie loved his red, red rose, They love free prescriptions in Montrose, And they're nae so dumb in old Dumbarton, More free milk, by the carton, Rangers and Celtic the "Old Firm" marvels, Carved in stone like Elgin's marbles, Hamilton Academicals, students of chemicals, Are more at ease without tuition fees, North of the border in Stenhousemuir, Prime Angus sizzles on the skewer, Sassenachs spout stuff about Gordon's fault, Canny Jock smiles and sips his malt, Hear the skirling pipes alilt, It's Scots wha' hae - and up your kilt!
Crammed full of wild bodrans, duelling mandolins, and skirling Irish pipes, reminding of Planxty, de Danaan and The Chieftains, with a taste of Bert Jansche's Pentangle, it's a radical reinvention of the great Lennon and McCartney songs that brings a whole new dimension to something we thought we already knew everything there was to know about.
Finley parading up and down on a stage, naked, smeared with chocolate, skirling about the evils of patriarchy, America, etc., etc.