Posted by Lewis on December 08, 2005
In Reply to: Odd duck posted by Smokey Stover on December 08, 2005
: : Hello, can you please give me the origins of the phrase "odd duck" ?
: "Duck" is one of those words that sometimes turns up as just meaning, a fellow, a chap. OED: "4. b. A fellow, 'customer'. U.S. slang.
: 1857 Phoenix (Sacramento) 11 Oct. 4/1 No such 'duck' as this could nab the 'Ubiquitous'. 1872 'MARK TWAIN' Roughing It xlvii. 331 Are you the duck that runs the gospel-mill next door? 1903 A. ADAMS Log of Cowboy ix. 125, I can't quite make out this other duck, but I reckon he's some big auger. 1904 W. H. SMITH Promoters v. 100 As you said, Goldsby, Slosher's a slick duck."
: An odd duck is someone (always male in what I've heard or read) with a touch of eccentricity. SS
The scene late at night. Picture a bus-driver who looks like Pavarotti - 20 plus stone and grizzled beard - young 18 year old lad gets on unoccupied bus. "Single to Knighton, please". Gruff son of the soil says "All right me-duck!"
It wasn't the prelude to gay rape, just the norm for Leicester bus drivers.
'duck' as non-gender-specific alternative to 'mate' was widespread, but it put the wind up a few of us at first.