ugly duckling


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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: duckling, 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: duckling, ugly

an ugly duckling

a young person who turns out to be beautiful or talented against all expectations.
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.
See also: duckling, ugly

an ˌugly ˈduckling

(informal) a person or thing that at first does not seem attractive or likely to succeed but that later becomes successful or much admired: He’s got the looks of a film star now, but he was a real ugly duckling as a child.This comes from a children’s story by Hans Christian Andersen, in which a young swan is raised with ducklings. They have to stop teasing him about his ugliness when he grows into a beautiful swan.
See also: duckling, ugly

ugly duckling

An unattractive or unpromising child who turns into a beautiful or much admired adult. The term comes from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale in which a baby cygnet, hatched with a brood of ducklings, is despised by both mother and siblings for its clumsiness until it grows up and becomes a beautifully graceful swan.
See also: duckling, ugly
References in periodicals archive ?
After Mills choreographed The Ugly Duckling for Ballet Nouveau Colorado in 2005, the company worked with the anti-bullying organization Creating Caring Communities to transform the ballet into an interactive performance to take into schools throughout the Denver area.
The ugly duckling is shown big and bold on the front cover as it breaks free of its egg, and closer examination reveals an unusual texture to the body of the duckling and the egg.
The results of this study suggest the ugly duckling sign may be a valuable melanoma screening tool readily teachable to primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and patients performing periodic skin self-examination, Dr.
That 85% sensitivity when the ugly duckling sign was applied by nonclinicians is much higher than the percentage seen in studies of the ABCD method, Dr.
Originally called "The Ugly Duckling or the Aesthetically Challenged Barnyard Fowl," the play is by Anthony Drew and George Stiles; it first opened in England in 1993.
Alnoy's is an ugly duckling tale that is truly ugly, and is a bracing, ironic commentary on contemporary European social mores.
Brummie wideboy PJ has never lived down his famous fumble with Cockney kebab-bellied ugly duckling Jade Goody.
Belying its ugly duckling look, the half-dozen fragrances--Lavender, Peppermint Sage, Lemon Polenta, Espresso, Tangerine Orange, and Rose Milk--restore a romantic air to the soap.
An ancient ship and plucky investors hope to turn ugly duckling Puno into a high-altitude beauty.
In his autobiography, Notes of an ugly duckling, he describes a childhood of sensitivity, introspection, insecurity and loneliness.
(KAE618) GREGORY SULLIVAN, CEO of UGLY DUCKLING CORPORATION (UGLY), describes the company's business and its background; prospects for the industry, with positive and negative trends; competitive threats; strategic opportunities for the firm including its marketing plans and acquisition potential; management strength and organization; and the financial prospects of the firm looking forward.
Fast-growing companies with rising earnings reigned, while ugly duckling "value" stocks went largely unappreciated.
Under the programme, called Ugly Duckling, DCfor.com will review the current state of a company's proposed business venture and offer advice on the next steps while Compaq and Exodus will provide the technology platforms and infrastructure.
Yet, more often than not, the parish hall is the ugly duckling of church property.
While none of the analysts would relate these stocks to those in comparable industries, they say these firms can offer an attractive opportunity for certain investors willing to bet on the "ugly duckling."