One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
To skirmish playfully or amorously, to dally or flirt. Now Irish English.
Mid 17th century (in an earlier sense). Origin uncertain; apparently from pick + -eer, probably partly after early modern Dutch pickeren to maraud, pillage (1574; apparently from picken to steal, pilfer + -eren, after Middle French picorer; compare early modern Dutch pickeren to sting, nettle (Dutch pikeren), Dutch regional (West Flemish) pikereien to steal, pilfer), and partly after French picorer to forage, maraud, pillage, plunder, pilfer, apparently an alteration of piquer to steal, pilfer after pécore farm animals, livestock.
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