phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Odd duck

Posted by Smokey Stover on December 08, 2005

In Reply to: Odd duck posted by Ligia on December 07, 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