Definition of ducks and drakes in English:

ducks and drakes

noun

  • 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.’

Phrases

  • play ducks and drakes with

    • Trifle with; treat frivolously.

      • ‘If you find Junior playing ducks and drakes, keep your cool.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The oil companies are playing ducks and drakes with the Department and the Minister.’
      • ‘He has played ducks and drakes with that process.’
      • ‘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.’
      treat in a cavalier fashion, treat lightly, treat frivolously, treat casually, play ducks and drakes with
      View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century: from the movement of the stone over the water.

Pronunciation:

ducks and drakes

/dəks ænd/