Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


Idioms related to Duck

ugly duckling

an ugly duckling


  • a young person who turns out to be beautiful or talented against all expectations.
  • one that is considered ugly or unpromising at first but has the potential to become beautiful or admirable in maturity.
  • an unattractive child who becomes a beautiful or much-admired adult.


  1. Some people think they’ve turned into an ugly duckling whereas the truth is they are & look the same as they used to in their childhood.
  2. Mira was mocked for her personality when she was young, but by having been offered a movie as the lead actress, everyone realized that she was an ugly duckling.
  3. Aditya had no skills during his childhoods but all of a sudden he turned out to be an ugly duckling after being selected for the national football championship.
  4. I was going through my childhood pictures & to my amaze, I realized that I’ve turned into an ugly duckling.
  5. Samaira was all shy & chubby when young. Now  she is the most beautiful & fittest actress; indeed, she has turned into an ugly duckling.
  6. The woman who takes personality development classes wasn’t so since childhood but has now turned into an ugly duckling.
  7. Who calls her an ugly duckling knows nothing about her. She has been exceptionally talented since childhood but never revealed it to the world.

The Ugly Duckling is a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen in which the ‘ugly duckling’, mocked and jeered at by his peers, eventually develops into a beautiful swan, hence the idiom derived- an ugly duckling.

play duck and drakes

play duck and drakes

– to carelessly misuse one’s wealth
– to behave recklessly
– use selfishly to suit oneself
– waste

duck and drakes is also a name of stone skipping or skimming game, a pastime game of throwing flat stones across water so as to make them bounce off the surface.

1. He lost his job for playing ducks and drakes with the fund of corporation.
2. Jane played duck and drakes with the financial system of company.
3. George W. Bush had played duck and drakes with the economy of USA.
4. Hey, let’s play duck and drakes on the lake.

1575–85; from a fancied likeness to a waterfowl’s movements.

like or as a duck to water

like or as a duck to water

– to do something very quickly and enjoy doing it
– easily and naturally
– to have a usual aptitude to do something

1. She’s taken to the home of her grandma like a duck to water.
2. Miranda just took to motherhood like a duck to water.
3. She started skating and she learned how quickly, like a duck takes to water.
4. Chris is really a natural surfing. He took to surfing like a duck to water even before he started it as a profession.
5. This baby adapted to the bottle as a duck takes to water.


lame duck

lame duck

– a person or thing that is disabled, helpless, ineffective, or inefficient.
– somebody, especially an elected official
– who cannot influence events any more
– a person or company that is in trouble
– someone who is in the last period of a term in an elective office and cannot run for reelection
– a person or thing that isn’t properly able to function, especially one that was previously proficient.
– having lost a re-election bid

1. Knowing she would be lame duck, the mayor decided to resign from office early and retire.
2. You can’t expect a lame duck President to get much accomplished.
3. The best way to avoid being a lame duck in office is to not get elected for another term.
4. You can’t expect much from a lame duck.
5. As a lame duck, there’s not a lot I can do.
6. The President was a lame duck during the end of his second term.
7. What do you expect from a lame-duck mayor?


This expression originated in the 1700s and then meant a stockbroker who did not meet his debts. It was transferred to officeholders in the 1860s.

The explanation of ‘lame duck’ is frequently applied to politicians who are known to be in their closing term of staff, when colleagues and electors look toward a successor. It is also sometimes used to explain office-holders who have lost an election but have not yet left office.