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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.

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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.

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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'.

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