Sitting Duck

Also: Like a sitting duck

Meaning of Idiom ‘A Sitting Duck’

A sitting duck is an easy target; someone who is easy to attack or criticize; someone in a very vulnerable position; someone easily caught or found. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.


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Examples of Use

“If we stay here we’re sitting ducks, said the sergeant. Let’s move to a more defensible position.”

“That’s really not a good place to leave your car. In that neighborhood, it’s a sitting duck for thieves.”

“If the mayor doesn’t get ahead of this scandal, he’s a sitting duck.”

Sitting duck idiom meaning

Origin

Used since the first half of the 1900s.

This idiom alludes to the relative ease of shooting a duck that is sitting in one spot, whether on the ground or in the water, as opposed to a duck that is in flight. 3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

More Idioms Starting with S

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Sources   [ + ]

1, 3. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.