ugly duckling

(redirected from an ugly duckling)

ugly duckling

A person or thing once considered unattractive or unlikely to succeed that becomes beautiful or successful in time. The phrase refers to Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale of an ugly duckling that grows up to be a beautiful swan. The phrase can apply to physical appearance or to the level of success of something. I thought that fledgling company would dissolve in months. No one foresaw that it was just an ugly duckling and would have great success. Mary went unnoticed in high school but she's gorgeous now—a real ugly duckling!
See also: ugly

ugly duckling

A homely or unpromising individual who grows into an attractive or talented person, as in She was the family ugly duckling but blossomed in her twenties. This term alludes to Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale about a cygnet hatched with ducklings that is despised for its clumsiness until it grows up into a beautiful swan. The tale was first translated into English in 1846, and the term was used figuratively by 1871.
See also: ugly
References in periodicals archive ?
95) tells of two children who become lost in the forest, until an ugly duckling following their trail of crumbs comes to the rescue.
Brenda, who is also famous in Argentina as a singer, hit back at fans who cruelly mock Tevez as a bit of an ugly duckling himself.
AN ugly duckling who lost its mother and was close to death has found a new happy family.
Hatton's Grace, an ugly duckling, had changed stables since finishing fifth in the 1948 Champion Hurdle, and the nine-year-old's transformation from also-ran to champion was early proof of the genius of his new trainer, Vincent O'Brien.
Hilton, whose work includes House of Wax and TV's The Simple Life, stars as the attractive best friend to an ugly duckling in the new comedy, tipped for US release on February 8.
Viewers unfamiliar with telenovelas will find similarities to the hit summer movie ``The Devil Wears Prada,'' though it was difficult, by any measure, to buy Anne Hathaway as an ugly duckling.
Adapted from a Colombian TV serial (Yo Soy Betty, la Fea), this much-buzzed-about comedy follows an ugly duckling, Betty Suarez (America Ferrera of Real Women Have Curves), who works at a fashion magazine.
The famous Hans Christian Anderson tale, which tells the story of how an ugly duckling grows into a beautiful swan, was adapted by writer Anthony Drewe and musician George Stiles.
Surgeon Barry Monk showed his admiration by describing Becky as 'a classic story of an ugly duckling who turns into a beautiful swan'.
Just as most of the country was enamored with Seabiscuit, an ugly duckling grandson of the great race horse Man O' War, during the Depression, the author and the reader will feel great affection for the horse, his owners, trainers and jockeys by the end of this book.
But West Ham kept faith as he matured from an ugly duckling into a class player.
IT STARTS WITH FAIRY TALES: An ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan; a cinder-stained servant morphs into the belle of the ball; a lowly frog is revealed as a handsome prince.
For more complete information about the split-up transaction, the related rights offering and their impact on Ugly Duckling Corporation and Cygnet, obtain an Ugly Duckling Corporation definitive proxy statement and Cygnet prospectus as indicated above.
New Delhi, Nov 16 (ANI): American singer Nicole Scherzinger has revealed that she grew up thinking she was an ugly duckling.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding'': An ugly duckling, Nia Vardalos, becomes a swan and meets her extraordinarily handsome and smart Mr.