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HIGH IMMERSIVE PROGRAMME by IPGKDA ENGLISH DEPARTMENT

LEARN A PHRASE A WEEK

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LIKE WATER OFF A DUCK’S BACK

Meaning/Usage: Without any apparent effect

Explanation:
Duck’s feathers are waterproof. The preen (or, formally, the uropygial) gland at the base of the tail produces oil that spreads and covers the birds' outer coat so that water forms droplets on, but does not permeate, the feathers.
Note: Uropygial gland – a gland opening on the back at the base of the tail in most birds that secretes an oily fluid used by the bird in preening its feathers.

Figuratively, the meaning of the phrase is a critical remark/warning that does not bother the person for whom it was intended rolls off like water off a duck’s back.

In other words, criticisms of or warnings to a particular person will not have any effect on him/her.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D.

“I’ve told him that he’s heading for trouble, but he doesn’t listen – it’s just like water off a duck’s back”.
“The bullets had no effect on the steel door. They fell away like water off a duck’s back”

A. Do you feel sad after reading what the journalists wrote in the newspaper?
B. I don’t really care as long as I know what I am doing is right for the children. My conscience is clear then.
A. I wish I could be like you! I cannot stand criticism and I really hope I could be like one of those people for whom it’s like water off a duck’s back.
B. Well..Don’t worry! You’ll master the trick as time goes by.

Translation in Bahasa Melayu

Bagai mencurah air ke daun keladi



 

contributors : Pn Zarina Omar & Hjh Norlidar Abd Hamid