Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I was interested in the phrase “duck and dive,” which is put in parentheses, in the following comment of a video ran by the Guardian with a caption, “Senator Marco Rubio's in-speech water break” - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/feb/16/marco-rubios-water-break-video) :

“In a video that has turned viral, the Republican politician displays a 'duck and dive' lunge for his bottle while barely averting his eyes from the lens”

Oxford English Dictionary defines “duck and dive” as "British use: one’s ingenuity to deal with or evade a situation." But Google Ngram shows a constant currency of this phrase since cir 1840 and growing increase of use around after 1995. Is this phrase still predominantly used in Britain, less in the U.S.?

P.S. I think the expression “Duck and dive" posture is very similar to Japanese expression, “屁っぴり腰-heppirigosi" meaning 'move / behave nervously / apprehensively with one's buttocks stuck out,' thus indecisiveness.

If somebody is familiar with Japanese language, please advise me if my interpretation is correct or not.

share|improve this question
    
The expression is usually used figuratively ( idioms.thefreedictionary.com/ducking+and+diving ). A Google Ngram shows that ducking and diving - and, to a lesser degree, duck and dive - have seen an upsurge in usage since 1985 in British English at least. –  Edwin Ashworth Apr 16 '13 at 9:39
    
See duck and cover. –  tchrist Apr 16 '13 at 20:12
    
There could be a boxing link too. It's nothing to do with posture, it's a behavioral thing, doing a bit of 'wheeling and dealing'. –  Mynamite Apr 16 '13 at 21:45

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Searching for the phrase "duck and dive" in the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) turns up zero references.

For the period (1990-2012) that COCA covers, "duck and dive" would appear to not be used in American English at all.

share|improve this answer
    
After all, it doesn't seem to be current in the U.S. though the article refers to 'duck and dive' motion of an American politician. –  Yoichi Oishi Apr 17 '13 at 7:57

'Duck and Dive' is a common British Bingo game expression to indicate the number 25. Supposedly the 2 looks like a duck profile and 5 rhymes with 'dive'.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.