Posted by Harikrishnan Menon on October 23, 2003
In Reply to: Totally off topic... posted by James Briggs on October 23, 2003
: If anyone has a Dictionary of Rhyming slang I think you may find the origin there. It was very common in the East End of London in the 1930s-50s. I always assumed it was rhyming slang.
Lovaduck can be seen in the works of Enid Blyton, who wrote most of her books around that time. However, the exclamation is always used by characters who come from less privileged backgrounds. It's probably used to the same effect as cor blimey.
Why are ducks are preferred over chickens? I assume it's a question of euphony. The single-syllable "duck" sounds distinctly snappier. "Love-a-chicken" isn't nearly so effective, and "love-a-turkey" definitely ain't so.
I wouldn't want to hazard any guesses as to what love-a-duck could mean in cockney rhyming slang. heh!