a dead duck

dead duck

1. A person or thing that is useless or hopeless. That new budget bill was a dead duck before it hit the Senate. That mechanic turned out to be a dead duck. He didn't even know how to change my oil.
2. Someone who is about to be in a great deal of trouble for something they have done. When Mom finds out you snuck out of the house to meet your boyfriend, you're going to be a dead duck!
See also: dead, duck
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a dead duck

1. If someone or something is a dead duck, they are a failure. The government is a dead duck; and the Supreme National Council does not have the means to govern. The movie's probably a dead duck.
2. Someone who is a dead duck is going to be punished severely. Hit me on the head again, and you're a dead duck.
See also: dead, duck
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a dead ˈduck

(informal) a plan, an idea, etc. that has failed or is certain to fail and that is therefore not worth discussing: The new supermarket is going to be a dead duck; there’s no demand for one in this area.
See also: dead, duck
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

dead duck, a

A has-been or a loser. The term dates from the second half of the nineteenth century and may have been derived from lame duck. At first it denoted a person whose political influence had declined. Later it simply came to mean someone who has no hope of winning, or who has already lost.
See also: dead
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The purpose here was to discourage the dog from shaking the dummy (or a dead duck) in the predatory "kill shake" that many dogs do instinctively.
The RSPCA was first called on Sunday, July 24 by a member of the public who had reportedly seen a dead duck at the verge by the road.
But just when it looked like the event was a dead duck, Representative Andre Jacque (R) floated a bill to legalize non-profit duck races, potentially averting a quackdown.
If you have access to a dead duck, replace the dummy with the real thing once you've reached this stage of training.
This is a dead duck and it will never be anything else but a dead duck and no amount of ridiculous nonsense talking to bring this pool back to life will succeed.
SIR Liam Donaldson's ideas about getting spare parts from the dead regardless of consent, is a dead duck.
"When any new development comes along in New Brighton it's a dead duck.
I walked around a little further and saw lots of debris and noticed a dead duck.
Calls are already flooding in to veterinary surgeries, wildlife centres and the police from the public who have come across a dead duck, swan and even a pigeon or two.
However, if he's asleep when somebody blows a duck call, he torpedoes out through the thatched marsh grasses of the front of the blind and enthusiastically retrieves a decoy or chain of decoys or anything else he encounters that is not a dead duck.
BIRD flu experts refused to examine a dead duck found in Liverpool.
BIRMINGHAM was at the centre of a bird flu scare today after the discovery of a dead duck near Edgbaston Reservoir.
It would seem that the Americans and Australians are pushing a dead duck."
This is what happened to your dog Had you called your dog in, tossed a dead duck and then let him search to find it once in a while, your dog would not have "extinguished" on the search.