He is a lame duck

Becoming a doctor is a wild goose chase.

you bloody goose

He was out for a duck or golden duck.

These are some of the terms associated with duck and geese which are used in a derogatory sense..

Why aret the poor duck and the goose targetted in English for derogatory use?

  • 2
    A goose is not a duck, at least not in England. – Michael Harvey Sep 21 '19 at 18:43
  • @I I think they belong to the same group – successive suspension Sep 21 '19 at 18:45
  • America either. – Lorel C. Sep 21 '19 at 18:46
  • So did you mean 'waterfowl' in general? Nobody says bad things about swans. – Michael Harvey Sep 21 '19 at 18:50
  • 2
    Unless they are are naturalists or bird freaks, people where I live tend to think of ducks and geese separately. – Michael Harvey Sep 21 '19 at 19:00

I was going to vote this question down as opinion-based, but I decided not to, because I like it. I agree that it is a pity that that amiable creature, the duck, is used in so many derogatory expressions. I'll give you another one: in Britain, having short legs can be called having 'duck's disease'. I think animals tend to appear in expressions mainly because they are familiar, and there are very many well-known animals that are used in e.g. similes - the cunning fox, faithful dog, cautious cat, busy bee, and so on.

enter image description here


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.