To sit upon one's skirt. To insult, or seek occasion of
quarrel. Tarlton, the clown, told his audience the reason why he wore a
jacket was that “no one might sit upon his skirt.” Sitting on one's
skirt is, like stamping on one's coat in Ireland, a fruitful source of
quarrels, often provoked.
Crosse me not, Liza, nether be so perte,
For if thou dost, I'll sit upon thy skirte.
The Abortive of an Idle Howre (1620).
(Quoted by Halliwell: Archaic Words.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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