skirl of amusement


Senior Member
Does "skirl of amusement" work? Because I'm reading in the Oxford dictionary online that it's
A shrill, wailing sound, especially that of bagpipes.

Julian Barnes uses "skirl of amusement" of an old woman given to amusement and witticisms, so if that, indeed, works, I take it that the "wail" in the definition can sometimes refer only to a "highly-pitched sound." Is that so?

Thank you!
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    n my experience "skirl" invariably describes the sound of bagpipes. The Scottish ones, with which I suppose Julian Barnes is familiar, are not particularly high-pitched. Even though "skirl" is cognate with "shrill".
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