According to Slanguage: A Dictionary of Irish Slang, by Bernard Share, pickering – in colloquial Irish English – means “Expressing amorous interest in.” Sort of like hankering, I guess, but more… picky? Peckish? Share doesn’t give an etymology.
But it puts me in mind of a story. Not an Irish one, a Northern English one, but anyway.
There was this king. I don’t know which one, but he was in Northern England for some reason, Yorkshire to be precise, North Yorkshire to be preciser, Ryedale to be preciserer. Anyway, he had a fancy. Probably he had more than one fancy, but he had a fancy ring, that’s for sure, and he lost track of it. It came off his finger, as rings may, depending on what you’re doing.
So he blamed a local maiden. Continue reading