Fun Fact January 25, 2021.
25 January 2021
Sometimes it’s not easy, but we’ll try to get our ducks in a row! It means to think through all the small details of a task or project so as to ensure a smooth and trouble free endeavor. There are a couple of thoughts on the origin of this idiom and neither involve the feathered fowl mentioned. One theory is from lawn bowling which uses small pins, called ducks. There was no machine to reset the pins so the game relied on people to get the ducks in a row. The other theory is from the game of pool. When a number of pool balls line up, also known as sitting ducks, it was said the ducks were in a row. One theory that does involve the actual duck is when a mother ducks takes her ducklings on a walk she lines them up in a row so that if any of them that wander are easily spotted and can be quickly encouraged to get back in a row. About the earliest written reference is from the Plaindealer in November of 1889 talking about a political party “getting their ducks in a row.” Still waiting on that.