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Eggsactly

Posted by Henry on November 24, 2003

In Reply to: Out for a duck posted by Lotg on November 24, 2003

: Why is a duck - a zero batting score in cricket? ie. why a 'duck'? (It's OK, Northern Americans are exempt from this question - te he.) Course, on the other hand, you Northern Americans might just trick me and know the answer, and that's pretty cool too.

http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutwordorigins/outforaduck
This is short for 'out for a duck's egg', the duck's egg being the large nought recorded on the scoreboard. The expression is recorded from the 1860s.

There's a similar origin for 'love' at tennis, said to derive from l'oeuf, French for egg.