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#1 2012-12-30 13:23:37

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 636

Ducks and water

Yesterday I was watching an old episode of Hell’s Kitchen wherein Chef Gordon Ramsay said, “Ralph took to it like water off a duck’s back.” Of course, he meant “like a duck to water”, Upon consideration, it could be an eggcorn, because water slides off a duck’s back very very easily, so taking to something like water off a duck’s back could mean taking to it easily.

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#2 2012-12-30 16:52:03

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2131

Re: Ducks and water

What’s curious about this confusion is that the idiom the person used, water off a duck’s back, is an expression of imperviousness (“The insults bounced right off Harry, like water off a duck’s back.”). The person employed the phrase, however, with the duck-to-water sense of facility, which sort of implies permeability and access. See under petard, hoist with.

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