[Ads-l] odd duck

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 21 18:09:59 UTC 2015


My first thought is the Hans Christian Andersen story, The Ugly Duckling.

There were several cartoon versions produced in the 30s with the baby swan
being rejected by a mother duck and her ducklings.

DanG

On Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 1:57 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      odd duck
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I was just asked via twitter about the etymology of the phrase "odd
> duck". The Oxford English Diction has no matches for "odd duck" even
> within quotations. Barry Popik does not cover the term. I do not see a
> listing in JL's Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang.
>
> Perhaps a list member can help.
>
> Wikitionary has an entry with a first citation in 1936.
> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/odd_duck
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> odd duck =E2=80=8E(plural odd ducks)
>
> (idiomatic) An unusual person, especially an individual with an
> idiosyncratic personality or peculiar behavioral characteristics.
>
> 1936 Dec. 11, Bill Lush, "Kelley Reveals Technique of Successful Pass
> Play," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p. 27 (retrieved 28 July 2010):
>
> This lad Kelley is an odd duck in many ways. . . . Unlike most college
> youngsters, he has no hobbies.
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson
>
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