play ducks and drakes with

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play ducks and drakes with

To squander (something). "Ducks and drakes" is a game played by skipping a stone across the surface of water. Don't play ducks and drakes with this internship—it's a great opportunity, even if it doesn't pay!
See also: and, drake, duck, play

play ducks and drakes with

trifle with; treat frivolously.
This expression comes from the game of ducks and drakes , played by throwing a flat stone across the surface of water in such a way as to make it skim and skip before it finally sinks. The game was known by this name by the late 16th century, and it was already a metaphor for an idle or frivolous activity in the early 17th century.
See also: and, drake, duck, play