dead duck


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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

dead duck

Fig. someone or something that is certain to die or fail. If I fail that test, I'm a dead duck. When the outlaw drew his pistol, the sheriff knew he was a dead duck.
See also: dead, duck

dead duck

1. A person doomed to failure or death; a hopeless case. For example, If they can't find a heart to transplant soon, he's a dead duck. [1940s]
2. A useless, worthless, or outmoded person or thing. For example, They didn't interview the outgoing senator; to the press he's a dead duck. Some speculate that this slangy term comes from an old saying, "Never waste powder on a dead duck," first recorded in 1829.
See also: dead, duck

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

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

dead duck

n. a person or thing doomed to failure or disaster. This whole plan was a dead duck from the beginning.
See also: dead, duck

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
References in periodicals archive ?
The remarks come after the ECHO printed an email the Birken-head Labour councillor forwarded to all 65 Wirral councillors stating: "New Brighton should now be wrapped up and buried in the Mer sey - just as we may do with any dead duck."
duck' may of life,' this number of houses If the National Trust were to reconsider land sale then the "dead duck" may get the "kiss of life," this despite the number of houses both Redcar and Cleveland Council and Middlesbrough Council have built along, and in the area of, any proposed bypass.
Holloway insists his Blackpool have come back from being "a dead duck" last summer after their relegation from the Premier League, which led to the departures of prized asset Charlie Adam plus David Vaughan and DJ Campbell.
It challenges an interpretation of the law which has been used for the last 25 years and means releasing suspects on bail and calling them back for questioning weeks later - a common practice in major inquiries - is "pretty much a dead duck".
THEannouncement by Chiltern Trains that it has City finance in place for considerably expanding its existing services and cutting journey times between the West Midlands and London means that the proposed HS2 project is a dead duck.
For there is foolishness and foolishness, but no finer foolishness than what Government and their so-called wise advisers decide, without due reference to the growing empirical research that says wind turbines are a dead duck in the long term.
Town centre manager Andrew Wilkinson described the market as "a dead duck, more trouble than it's worth".
They are convinced the hoped-for sports campus and stadium on the 300-acre site is now a dead duck.
Birkenhead Labour representative Harry Smith also labelled the seaside resort a "dead duck" while debating the future of a pounds 75m redevelopment plan.
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.
Dozy government scientists have been forced to tell the truth after a dead duck was found to have the disease in France - just across the Channel.
All concerned must grasp the nettle, unthinkable as it may be, otherwise the game on both sides is a dead duck.
Another duck, "Dead Duck," which resembled guitarist Jerry Garcia, sold for $5,000 to a Washington, D.C., artist who once lived in the area.