PRIMARY SOURCES: More Weird and Wonderful Words, Erin McKean, 2003; Forgotten English 2006 desktop calendar, Jeffrey Kacirk;
Common Phrases, J. Mordock & Myron Korach, 2001; The Dictionary of Cliches, James Rogers, 1985; The American Heritage Dictionary
Friday, July 18, 2008
This means to move as if one's bones are loose in the sockets. It comes from the Belgian word schale, meaning shell. Shail about, as in moving like a ripe nut within its shell (Kacirk 2000).