One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A male duck.as modifier ‘a drake mallard’‘ducks and drakes’
- ‘From our picture above, you can tell that this drake is something special.’
- ‘As the drake loses his bright plumage and acquires the more subdued feathering of the female, the bird appears to become hormonally sexually neutral and, for the remaining duration of the eclipse period, remains as a female.’
- ‘The drakes were immaculate, each displaying a bright chestnut head with a broad buff-edged green stripe contrasting with a prominent long white line on the wing and a yellow triangle under the tail.’
- ‘I tried to rescue a female duck from the thuggish drakes one day.’
- ‘On the water, handfuls of gaudy drakes, cloaked in vivid breeding plumage, jockey for position near sought-after hens.’
- ‘The very ruddiness of the ruddy drakes has vanished, and the males are hard to distinguish from the hens.’
- ‘A duck (of either gender - the term drake is not used in a culinary context) is usually six months old or more, while a duckling is younger.’
- ‘The new ducks of the day were Bufflehead and American Wigeon, both drakes.’
- ‘I went downstairs immediately to see if the window was damaged, and saw a drake mallard (anas platyrhynchos) lying motionless on its belly in the sand, two metres outside the facade.’
- ‘I suppose drakes of many species like to get away from the family on Father's Day.’
- ‘So here is a better picture of a duck, an Eider drake I took earlier this year, on the Ythan estuary.’
- ‘Stars of the stamps include a pig and piglets, a Border Collie puppy and a duck and a drake.’
- ‘Within minutes of arriving at Crestwood Lake, we spotted a small group of green-wings, mostly drakes.’
- ‘The drake sported full plumage with chocolate-brown head contrasting with gleaming white breast.’
- ‘The drakes soon abandon the brood and gather at moulting grounds at the end of June.’
- ‘I also spent some time watching Eider ducks, the drakes easily distinguished by their white plumage and both species have a beak which resembles somebody with a huge ‘Roman nose’.’
- ‘I suppose the densely feathered, black and white head of the drake does slightly resemble a buffalo's head.’
- ‘Two beautiful drakes swam by close enough for a picture and we happily obliged.’
- ‘The family pets were dogs, cats, and a Muscovy drake duck named Lucy which lived for nine years.’
- ‘I love it when a bird looks exactly like its photo in the field guide. These drakes were textbook examples of their species.’
Middle English: of West Germanic origin; related to Low German drake and German Enterich.
(in fishing) a natural or artificial mayfly, especially a subadult or a gravid female.
- ‘The Thorax Gray Drake Fly is designed to provide buoyancy and balance on the water especially in the smaller hook sizes.’
- ‘Fishing the Drake hatch in late May is somewhat of a festival.’
- ‘Gray Drakes are the best dry fly on the Muskegon River.’
Old English draca, from Latin draco ‘dragon’.
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