A lark, or a skylark, is a kind of high-flying songbird.
Figuratively, a lark is a spree, a silly game, or a playful adventure.
And to lark, or to skylark, is to play around, often in a loud, silly, or teasing way.
Part of speech:
We’ll focus on the verb, which is usually the intransitive kind: “they’re skylarking,” “they skylarked up and down the street.”
skylarks, skylarked, skylarking, skylarker(s)
How to use it:
This word is fun and whimsical.
It can sound funny and old-fashioned when you use it literally to describe the playful antics of animals, children, or adults acting like children. That is, “skylarking” is right up there (yes, up there) with old-fashioned synonyms like “tomfoolery,” “shenanigans,” and the stuffy and hilarious “monkeyshines.”
However, “skylark” can sound lofty and poetic when you use it figuratively. Talk about musicians skylarking on their albums and in their guitar solos, authors skylarking in their short stories and their expository scenes, politicians and celebrities skylarking on talk shows and behind podiums, etc.
Either way, with “skylark,” you’re comparing your subjects to joyful, musical, high-flying birds.
“When off duty, (the boys) would be for ever skipping about like mountain goats, skylarking, and pulling one another about. “
— Powell Millington, To Lhassa at Last, 1905
“The (Marx) Brothers routinely let loose streams of cascading puns, malapropisms, word associations, and seemingly pointless slapstick that are perplexingly bad and often aggressively anti-comedic, but taken collectively become overwhelming, and thereby hilarious. In the words of the 1930s film critic Otis Ferguson: ‘You realize while wiping your eyes well into the second handkerchief that it is nothing so much as a hodgepodge of skylarking.'”
— Shon Arieh-Lerer, Slate, 6 January 2016