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lazarius
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 7:13:10 AM

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Quote:
Of course what I call Mathematics is only what the Civil Service Commissioners expected you to know to pass a very rudimentary examination. I suppose that to those who enjoy this peculiar gift, Senior Wranglers and the like, the waters in which I swam must seem only a duck-puddle compared to the Atlantic Ocean.

My Early Life, Winston S. Churchill

I've seen pigeons and sparrows bathing in puddles but never a duck. What's a duck-puddle?

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Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 7:30:53 AM

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Nothing idiomatic here. It's just as it tells, a very small duck pond.

There is also a small sailboat called Puddle Duck Racer.
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 7:34:53 AM

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I would say it's a mud-puddle. The comparison is only between a VERY small pool of water (pond, puddle, whatever) to a very large body of water. Nothing magical about the wording.
lazarius
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 7:48:20 AM

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Thanks to you both!

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thar
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 7:48:57 AM

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Yes, it is purely a joke, but it is interesting that the Atlantic is called "The Pond".



Eg 'across the Pond' means America.
I have never heard it the other way round, bit it might exist.
lazarius
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 7:52:54 AM

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thar wrote:
it is interesting that the Atlantic is called "The Pond".

I know that and it would seem natural to use "duck pond" in this context.

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thar
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 9:44:11 AM

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Well, if he is thinking of that you need the two stages of the pun

The Pond - duck pond - duck puddle (smaller than a pond)

But I think the main comparison is an ocean vs a puddle. Ie a big difference! The duck may be just for comedic effect as in 'not even a duck pond, just a muddy dip in the path.'. Whistle
lazarius
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 10:36:12 AM

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Location: Kotel’niki, Moskovskaya, Russia
thar wrote:
not even a duck pond, just a muddy dip in the path.'. :-

Probably that's it. :) Thank you.

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tautophile
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 12:41:07 PM
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Yes, "the Pond" is a slang term for the Atlantic Ocean, and "cross the pond" is a slang term for "make a transatlantic trip in either direction--rast to west or west to east". You hear the term in both North America and Britain, but I fancy you don't hear it as often these days as you did in the '40s and '50s.

Apparently the earliest use of the term is from the 17th century, and became fairly well known in the 19th century (sometimes as "the herring pond", but it wasn't until the 1940s, when transatlantic aviation became routine, that "the Pond" became a common or fashionable slang term. It has been used as a term for the Pacific Ocean as well, but much more rarely.

Clyde of Oz
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 7:24:05 PM

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Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
In Australia, 'across the pond' can mean New Zealand, and vice versa.
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