Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
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.
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.