One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A game of throwing flat stones so that they skim along the surface of water.
- ‘I would be more concerned about how much longer they will have water to play ducks and drakes on.’
play ducks and drakes with
Trifle with; treat frivolously.
treat in a cavalier fashion, treat lightly, treat frivolously, treat casually, play ducks and drakes withView synonyms
- ‘He has played ducks and drakes with that process.’
- ‘But it unmistakably signifies that the icons of soccer fans nationwide are wallowing in such prodigious wealth that they can play ducks and drakes with money.’
- ‘If you find Junior playing ducks and drakes, keep your cool.’
- ‘The oil companies are playing ducks and drakes with the Department and the Minister.’
- ‘He blamed him for playing ducks and drakes with the tribunal.’
- ‘Instead, a writer of fiction is usually the happier for his ignorance, and better for having played ducks and drakes with his cultural opportunities.’
- ‘However, we still see no cause whatsoever for celebration because the figures clearly show that there's a hard-core minority who feel they have the right to play ducks and drakes with other people's lives.’
Late 16th century: from the movement of the stone over the water.
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