Definition Of Water Off A Duck'S Back At Dictionary

People often use this to lớn describe insults or other negative actions that others bởi vì against them that vị not harm them. A comtháng collocation is lớn roll off someone like water off a duck’s back.

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Origin of Water Off a Duck’s Back

This expression originated in the 1800s. It comes from the literal characteristic that duông xã feathers have for resisting water.

If you have sầu ever observed a duông xã, you may have noticed that no matter how often the duông xã dives under the water, it comes bachồng up looking quite dry. This is because duck feathers are coated in special oil that repels water. For that reason, water droplets quite literally roll off of ducks’ backs.

Early uses of this idiom are more literal. For example, one of the earliest found in print talks about a raincoat that keeps water off of people lượt thích water off a duck’s baông chồng.

Another example talks about how dirt washes off when using a specific cleaning sản phẩm, just as water rolls off a duông xã.

However, other early uses include rude words or actions that don’t affect a person as well.

Examples of Water Off a Duck’s Back

Here is an example of a teacher using the expression in a math class.

Teacher: John, where is your homework? This is the second time in a row you haven’t had it ready.

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Student: Maybe if your class wasn’t so stupid, I would actually bởi vì the homework.

Teacher: You’re not going to lớn hurt my feelings. Comments lượt thích those roll off of me like water off a duck’s baông xã. I don’t care how you feel about the class. All I care about is that you do the homework.

In this example, two friends are discussing some rude gossip.

Monica: I can’t believe that Molly is telling everyone that I stole from her! It’s not true!

Janice: I know it’s not true, but there’s nothing we can vì chưng to lớn stop her. I think the best thing to lớn vày is just ignore her.

Monica: That doesn’t seem fair. She shouldn’t be allowed to lớn slander me!

Janice: I know. But if she sees that her comments don’t affect you, if they roll off you like water off a duck’s back, then she’ll leave you alone.

More Examples

This excerpt is from an article about a cruise.

The second excerpt is from an article about a police deputy that works with teenagers.


The phrase lượt thích water off a duck’s baông chồng usually describes an insult or criticism that does not hurt or otherwise negatively affect the person being insulted.


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