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Blutrane0
07-17-2008, 09:49 PM
I've heard that the phrase, having one's ducks in a row refers to the days of ship builders who would fasten plumbs with hooks to a rope to get the shape of the bow, keel, stern, etc and the final curve would "have all your ducks in a row"

has anyone heard this?

paladin
07-17-2008, 10:14 PM
I thought it was to get them all lined up for duck adobo...first heads would roll, then feathers would fly, then wings, legs, thighs, neck, back and breast meat, water, vinegar, garlic, onions, black pepper,salt, bay leaves and soy sauce. It can be made in a quack pot.

ishmael
07-17-2008, 10:32 PM
Well, setting aside the gustatory:) I've heard of the drafting weights to hold splines called ducks. Basically a hunk of lead with a hook on the end to hold the spline. More often I've heard them called dolphin.

When I hear, "ducks in a row" I think of a mama duck with her babies. Everything is in order now, all my ducks are in a row. You've seen a family of ducks? But, what do I know?

tomlarkin
07-17-2008, 11:02 PM
quack pot

:D:D:D
All boatbuiilders are quackpots!

Captain Blight
07-17-2008, 11:58 PM
Setting aside the gustatory
NEVER!!!


Mmmmmmmm...... Confit duck legs.... wild mallard foie gras...... seared breast on a bed of long-grain and wild rice...... duck-thigh tagine with olives..... little new red potatoes cooked in a little duck fat.... duck demi-glace......


there is nothing about ducks I don't like. Perhaps the most comedic of the domesticated poultry.

huisjen
07-18-2008, 06:57 AM
Together
More or less in line
They just keep duckin' o-onnnnnn.....

Chickens are chaotic and tend to scatter.
Ducks often walk in a line.

Honda_Shadow
07-18-2008, 07:08 AM
No, the "Having your ducks in a row" came from when duck hunters used to use very large 2" bore Punt Guns mounted on their duck boats to harvest game birds. The hunters would wait until the ducks would land in the water and shoot - these guns fired 1 pound of shot or ball, and if you "had all your ducks in a row" you would be harvesting everything within range.

paladin
07-18-2008, 08:56 AM
so...what you're saying is that a comment of "on the rise" would mean a proper sporting hunter should shoot the critters on the rise and not while paddling in the pond.......
Sorta like a duck hunter coming home and catching the missus in the sack with the butler.....should he shoot on the rise or on the compression stroke?.....

Tylerdurden
07-18-2008, 09:06 AM
No, the "Having your ducks in a row" came from when duck hunters used to use very large 2" bore Punt Guns mounted on their duck boats to harvest game birds. The hunters would wait until the ducks would land in the water and shoot - these guns fired 1 pound of shot or ball, and if you "had all your ducks in a row" you would be harvesting everything within range.

If you ever get a chance to visit the Higgins Armory in Worcester Ma.
You would find it more than interesting.

http://www.higgins.org/

They have a large collection there of punt guns. Living a bike ride from it meant a number of hours there every summer.

Taylor Tarvin
07-18-2008, 09:07 AM
On the compression stroke Chuck, shoot him on the rise he gets another stroke.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-18-2008, 09:09 AM
Round here, a punt gunner gets into position (the hard, very cold, part of the process!) then taps sharply on the side of the punt. He fires as the birds take flight.

ishmael
07-18-2008, 09:24 AM
When I was to the St. Michael's Maritime Museum on the Chesapeake they had some examples of gun punts. A skiff, maybe fifteen foot, with a notch carved in the bow to mount a huge gun, what amounted to a cannon, a blunderbuss, filled with shot. Market hunters for Baltimore, Philly, New York, they'd kill two hundred birds at a shot, usually roosted on the water IIRC. The practice was banned because it was too damn effective; the bird population suffered.

Somehow, I have a difficult time thinking that's the origin of the term 'ducks in a row', but I dunno. They weren't in a row, they were anything within five hundred feet in front of the punt on an arc of maybe thirty degrees out at the end.

Norman Bernstein
07-18-2008, 11:04 AM
This comes from http://www.yaelf.com/questions.shtml




What is the origin of "ducks in a row"??
(Etymology)


Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, ISBN 0-06-270133-9
An American expression meaning to have one's arrangements completed, to have things organized or lined up; or, literally, to have one's skittles set up. In an American bowling alley the skittles, or pins, are called ducks.

From the Phrase Finder Forum
Primitive versions of modern bowling were known many centuries ago. Pins of varied sizes and shapes were employed. Eventually they were standardized at fifteen inches in both height and circumstances. Originally called ten-pins, the equipment used in Europe was employed in the earliest American bowling saloons. The game was modified by introduction of a short, slender pin that was compared with a duck and, by extension, called them duckpins. So many people reset so many pins in rows that one who completes a task is commended as having put his 'ducks in a row.'
http://phrases.shu.ac.uk/bulletin_board/4/messages/707.html
From the Forty Ducks page
How simple it seemed. My marks were excellent. The second year, reading Caesar's Gallic wars was not. That's where "Forty Ducks in a Row" came into being. Caesar's Latin actually read, "Forte Dux in Aro" - translated to "Brave Leader in Battle". We wise guys merely visualized it the other way perhaps because it was easier to remember.
http://www.backinthebronx.com/magazine/issue.XXI/fortyducks.htm
From Chuck Moreland's Phrases with Origings page
Baby ducklings swim in a straight line behind the mother duck. If the ducklings stray to far, the mother duck will get them back in line, that is get her ducks in a row.
http://members.aol.com/MorelandC/HaveOriginsData.htm#DucksInARow
Other possibilities
As a nickname for the soldiers of the Bombay Presidency
From a children's game called "duckstones"
From an arcade game of marksmanship involving plastic ducks
From a sailor's trousers, called "ducks".
From military tents made of untwiled linen
From a tank (or similar military vehicle) formation
From the formation ducks use when flying low over water

Of these selections, we suggest that Brewer's explanation is the most plausible.

Vince Brennan
07-18-2008, 11:16 AM
Norm, ya beat me to it.

In upstate PA (and, I understand, in New York as well), "bowling" was a bit of a "foreign sport" (referring to ten-pins) because we all grew up playing "nine-pin" or "duckpins". MUCH smaller ball, held in the palm of the hand, and we did, indeed, call the pins "ducks".

I'd always thought that that was a term from ninepins... thanks for the confirmation.

(although Bluetrane0 gets points for originality!)

ishmael
07-18-2008, 11:27 AM
Well, I was waiting for someone else to Google it. ;)

Norman Bernstein
07-18-2008, 11:27 AM
In upstate PA (and, I understand, in New York as well), "bowling" was a bit of a "foreign sport" (referring to ten-pins) because we all grew up playing "nine-pin" or "duckpins". MUCH smaller ball, held in the palm of the hand, and we did, indeed, call the pins "ducks".

Interesting.

I didn't know what 'duckpins' was until I came to New England in 1969 to go to college. In NJ, where I grew up, bowling was always 'tenpins', with a big 12-16 lb ball. I don't ever recall seeing duckpins in NJ.