As part of my homework, I'm reading a paragraph from the book Objective Proficiency (workbook). The paragraph is about a man who coaches couples on correct behavior on corporate functions.

I'm wondering what's the meaning of "skirt off into a corner". The following paragraph contains that part from the text:

In New York, Sacarello's clients are upwardly mobile and do a lot of work-related socialising. They are from modest economic backgrounds, and range in age from early 20s to late 40s. The free for an initial consultation is $500; some clients will spend as much as $10,000. They meet Sacarello, 45, and his partner, David Steinberg, 42, in a restaurant. 'We want to seem walk into a room,' Sacarelly says. 'Do they skirt off into a corner? Or do they run up and say "hello" because they're nervous.

The following image contains the other paragraphs from the text just in case it is necessary. Sorry for pasting it as an image.

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I searched that expression on the Internet, but didn't have luck finding a definition in a dictionary.

  • 2
    merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skirt look at the intransitive defintion. It also takes a bit of the sense of "avoiding something because of difficulty or controversy" from the transitive defintion, but here it's used intransitively.
    – Esther
    Jul 11, 2023 at 14:29
  • rdrg109, Please type out the entire text you wish to quote rather than pasting an image. People who use screen readers cannot read the text in an image. Also, people searching for terms in the text won't find it, and someone wanting to copy-paste can't do that either.
    – gotube
    Jul 11, 2023 at 17:52
  • 1
    @gotube Good point. Thanks for pointing that out. I've already edited my question and I'll take it into consideration in my future questions.
    – rdrg109
    Jul 11, 2023 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


The full Oxford English Dictionary has it as...

skirt Of persons. To travel, move, hang about, etc., on the outskirts or confines of something, or in a casual manner.

...but I don't much like the exact cited example. I'd prefer slouch, or perhaps slink.

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