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dead duck




dead duck (plural dead ducks)

  1. (idiomatic) One who is in serious danger or trouble.
    She's a dead duck if she starts flirting with my boyfriend!
  2. (idiomatic) A project that is doomed to failure from the start.
    The government decision meant that the proposed boycott of South African goods was a dead duck.
    • 2012 May 9, John Percy, “Birmingham City 2 Blackpool 2 (2–3 on agg): match report”, in The Daily Telegraph[1], London, archived from the original on 8 April 2016:
      They may have finished 11 points behind West Ham and lost both league games, conceding eight goals, but the Tangerine dream remains alive. Holloway said: “We won’t get a bigger test than West Ham but we’ve got one chance. If you’d asked me last summer when I lost all those players I’d have said this was a dead duck, but we don’t lie down at this club.”