One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A rare duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos, of swiftly flowing mountain streams in New Zealand, which has blue-grey plumage.
2Australian NZ slang Australian and NZ slang. A lost cause, a failure. Compare earlier "dead duck".
Mid 19th century. From blue + duck.
blue duck/bluː ˈdʌk/
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