E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
To sit upon ones skirt. To insult, or seek occasion of quarrel. Tarlton, the clown, told his audience the reason why he wore a jacket was that no one might sit upon his skirt. Sitting on ones skirt is, like stamping on ones coat in Ireland, a fruitful source of quarrels, often provoked.