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We are not sure about the origin of the phrase “Get Your Ducks in a Row” may be from one of the many prevalent theories. Three theories are mentioned below:
Derive from life of real ducks
Think of a mother duck taking her brood from nest to water with her ducklings waddling in a line behind her. That’s an image that could have led to the idiom being created at almost any time.
Derive from aspect of The Navy
The phrase to mean “get your business organized”, but sailors know that this expression comes from the boatbuilding trade. A “duck” is a great big thing, moved with a crane, and has jaws that open to make it a giant vise. The Navy lines up a number of ducks with a laser beam so that they are absolutely straight in a line; then the beginning piece of the new boat (the keel) is clamped in. The ducks hold the keel perfectly straight so the ship will be absolutely square athwart and fore-an-aft when it is being constructed. And so the first thing that is done in shipbuilding is to “get your ducks in a row”
Derive from game of lawn bowling
The popular theory is being attributed to the game of lawn bowling. In the earlier versions of bowling, pins of various sizes and shapes were used which eventually came to be replaced by slender and short pins that got compared to a duck and were called duckpins. The duckpins had to be reset manually in rows and the one who completed the task successfully was said to have got his “ducks in a row”.
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