Duck Soup (1897)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Jun 18 03:05:08 UTC 2004

 From B. Popik:

Other 12 -- No Title
Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963). Chicago, Ill.: Jul 23, 1897. p. 10 (1
page) :
    P. A. Brady, one of the more successful of retired bookmakers, and
formerly an owner of race horses, said: "It has now come to an issue where
every man
must show his colors.  I am out of the business and so this fight is duck soup
for me."


Is there good reason to think the above exemplifies the familiar "duck
soup" = "something easy"?

It looks to me like "duck soup" should mean "something moot" or "something
of no interest" in this passage.

Here is yet another figurative "duck soup", from 1879:


_Mountain Democrat_ (Placerville CA), 8 Nov. 1879: p. 4(?), col. 2:

<<HEROIC TREATMENT.-- In surgery and medicine the above title is given to
treatment which if it fails to cure is bound to kill the patient. In the
latter case it is liable to also make duck soup of the practitioner's


I suppose this "duck soup" means "something degraded or ruined".

Is there a common theme?

-- Doug Wilson

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