Now We Know Where that Phrase Came From

“Lord love a duck!”

Previously on COQOPO, Cute Overload’s Quest for Obscure Phrase Origins, “the cat’s pajamas” !

Thank you, Ant’s Quality Foraged Links


  1. Dodgy Duckling Digs dancing, and wears his heart on his head

  2. skippymom says:

    Is this what it says in his looking-for-loff personal ad?

  3. Is anyone else starting to… feel… hypnotizzzzzzed?

  4. dang! the blades of grass are as big as he is!

    I have to say, though, that I’ve never heard that expression. Is it from a particular part of teh US? What kind of situation would generate it? Like, is it an expression of surprise, outrage, etc?

  5. I think it’s a reference to Steven Tyler’s utterances on American Idol.


  7. This is what I found on the web:
    ‘Lord love a duck’: It’s a mild expression of surprise, once well known in Britain and dating from the early twentieth century.

    The Oxford English Dictionary has just one example, from — of all sources — James Joyce’s Ulysses: “Paddy Leonard eyed his alemates. Lord love a duck, he said. Look at what I’m standing drinks to!”
    But T S Eliot also used it, in The Rock of 1934: “Lor-love-a-duck, it’s the missus!”. It also turns up a number of times in the works of P G Wodehouse, the earliest being The Coming of Bill, two years before Ulysses was published: “‘Well, Lord love a duck!’ replied the butler, who in his moments of relaxation was addicted to homely expletives of the lower London type.”

  8. Thanks! Now that I’ve learned something, I’m going home…

  9. *derp*
    I feel really stupe-eed now!

  10. My grandmother used to use it all the time. She would have been over 100 if she was alive today so that might date the saying a bit. She grew up in Montreal but had British relatives.

  11. skippymom says:

    I think my grandmother used to say this sometimes, just as something to say, without meaning anything in particular by it.

  12. Also a 1966 movie starring Roddy McDowell and Tuesday Weld (those were the days!)

  13. Space Cowgirl says:


  14. tracylee says:

    omg huuge feets!

  15. tracylee says:

    gasp! double-comment! (whoops)

  16. tracylee says:

    omg huuge feets!

  17. Rebecca says:

    Decorated Ducky dashes daintily.

    This tiny duck-tato is now my ‘puter background…

  18. Guinea Peeg Lover says:

    AND he’s now my iPod touch’s wallpaper. :D

  19. When I see an annimal with a heart shape patch in his fur or feathers I always hear in my head my mother singing À qui Le P’ti coeur après neuf heures, I don’t know if the link will work from work but i’ll try:

  20. 260Oakley says:

    This is so cute it almost gave me a heart a-quack.

  21. Guinea Peeg Lover says:


  22. LunaChickFringe says:

    It was a phrase I grew up hearing and using. We use it more or less as an exasperation statement. I live in Ohio and I can’t say I’ve heard it outside my immediate family. I’ll have to ask my mom, now that my dad has passed away, as to which one of them grew up using it. I am genuinely curious now. Anyway….SQUEEEEEEE FLUFFY DUCKLET!

  23. Yes, I use it frequently still as an expression of exasperation (a la: “Oh, for crying out loud!”)… I think I picked it up from my mom….

  24. I think people should probably say it more.
    Other things people should say more:
    “Land sakes!”
    “As I live and breathe!”
    “I’l be a monkey’s uncle!”
    “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”
    “Well, roll me in breadcrumbs and call me schnitzel.”

  25. Lewis n' Clark says:

    ” My stars and garters”
    “For the love of Pete”
    (2 used in my family)

  26. And Mike too, don’t forget Mike!

  27. Heavens to Betsy! I know a lot of Betsy but I don’t know who that Murgatroyd fellow is. :-)

  28. Good Grief Gravy!!

  29. My mom used to say “Lord love a super duck” Now I’m just imagining that cute little squeaker with it’s chest puffed out, hands on hips & super hero cape billowing in the non existent breeze .

  30. He gets a wind machine, like Trash Gordon. ;)

  31. Fird Birfle says:

    Does it count if me da’ used to refer to Johnny Cash, as
    “Johnny TRASH”????

    — only did it in affection, not in a sarcastic way —

  32. so little and floofy!!

  33. April's NaNa says:

    Snagglepuss was fond of saying “Heavens to Murgatroyd” just before he said “Exit, stage left” and did.

  34. Birdcage says:

    You know, I was so blown away by his duckiness that I missed the fact he had a heart on his head until I started reading through the comments.

  35. Lerrinus says:

    My coworker said this yesterday, poor thing was having on of those days!


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