Lord love a duck mallardDear Kid,

It has been a delight having Pi back from camp. In between 17 hour stretches of sleeping, we’re hearing all about her adventures.

My favorite story (so far):

One evening, all the girls were on their beds and one of the counselors was talking. She said, “Lord!” and Pi immediately replied, “love a duck!” All her bunkmates turned to look at her like she’d grown another head. Thoroughly confused, Pi said, “Wait, don’t your mother’s all say ‘Lord love a duck’?” She truly thought all moms say that on a regular basis. It was quite an eye opener for her to find out it was just her own wacky mom who is partial to the phrase.

A group of ducks is called a badelynge, bunch, brace, flock, paddling, raft, or team. Unless you’re in Boston, in which case it’s called Make Way for Ducklings. Or if you’re in a hotel, in which case it’s called a Peabody of ducks.

If the ducks are made of rubber, it’s called a fundraiser. Or a wonderful song from Sesame Street (link provided for your viewing pleasure).

Baby ducks can walk and leave the nest just a few hours after hatching which does odd things to duck property values.

Very few ducks actually quack (true) but they make all sorts of other noises. Males are generally silent, but when they do talk it is often with a wet lisp.

Rubber duck fundraiserA quack is also a term for a fraud, generally of the medical variety. For example, a self-styled “doctor” whose patients generally have a better chance of survival if they don’t get treatment. Also, someone who sells ridiculous lotions and potions with even more ridiculous claims (love potions produced without the help of a magic wand and so forth).

The term quack in this context is from the Dutch “quacksalver”, literally meaning “hawker of salve.”

In the Middle Ages the word quack meant “shouting”. The quacksalvers sold their wares on the market shouting in a loud voice.


Love, Mom