American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The game of skipping flat stones along the surface of water.
- idiom. make ducks and drakes of To squander; waste.
- n. A pastime of throwing flat stones across water so as to make them bounce off the surface.
- n. squandering of resources, especially money; used in expressions like "to make ducks and drakes of", "to play (at) ducks and drakes with".
- n. a game in which a flat stone is bounced along the surface of calm water
- 1585, due to association with waterfowl. The precise origin is unclear, and may be from ducks taking off from a pond, or making rings when splashing, or bobbing their heads. Early references are primarily to “making” ducks and drakes, suggesting that the circular rings produced by the skipping stone resemble those created by splashing waterfowl. (Wiktionary)
“What had Tom done? — save play ducks and drakes with life and wear it out until all that remained was that dimly flickering spark in a dying body.”
“Unfortunately, I played ducks and drakes with my Yucatan project — I think I wrote about it — and I'm broke as usual.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘ducks and drakes’.
Lists of matching or contrasting or complementing pairs
the strait and na..., few and far between, the thick and thin, the ins and outs, safe and sound, hale and hearty, heart and soul, pros and cons, down and out, black and blue, to and fro, spick and span and 56 more...
cat-o-nine-tails, snake in the grass, puppy love, white elephant, crocodile tears, monkey business, keep the wolf fro..., culture vulture, black sheep of th..., scapegoat, ugly duckling, swan song and 260 more...
I'm looking for compounds or phrases where the character of an animal is essential to the meaning, yet the term is usable in general conversation.
Looking for tweets for ducks and drakes.