Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"Get your ducks in a row"

So just where did "Get your Ducks in a row" come from anyway? After much Googling and poking around on the internet the official answer is no one quite knows for sure...

One website suggests the rather obvious source of mother ducks and ducklings. But that is boring and still leaves one wondering if there might be more to the phrase.

Another website insists this saying originated with an early type of indoor bowling the British did in the early 1700s. The pins were shorter and fatter and were called ducks by the pin setters who would carefully line the pins up in rows each time they were knocked over.

Yet another source says the game of pool is where this saying came from. Any ball sitting in front of a pocket was referred to as a "Sitting duck." Having a number of these "Sitting ducks" all lined up ready to sink with the cue ball was having your "Ducks in a row."

Some say the carnival game where you shoot at a row of duck shaped metal targets for a prize is where this comes from.

Any duck hunter will tell you that this saying originated with them and their ability to kill more than one duck with one shot if the birds are lined up...

The earliest written example was in reference to the Politicians of the day "Not having their ducks in a row" back on November 15th 1889. Clearly nothing has changed in the world of politics!

So I guess the "Jury is still out" on where "getting your ducks in a row" originated but it was an interesting investigation!


  1. I guess you had some free time on your hands while getting your ducks in a row! LOL

    That's some interesting information. What would we ever do without Google?

  2. that is a pretty cool history. thanks for sharing all those versions. i'd believe any and all. :)

    cute little ones.

  3. comment moderation? are you guys having trouble with spam? if so, set your 'who can comment' to 'registered users-including open i.d.'. stops anonymous comments which make up for almost all spam...

  4. There is a book out there that tell all of the origins of sayings. Some are quite interesting. Nice photo of those little fluff balls.


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