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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

3 Answers 3

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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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In today's world a duck and dive is used commonly a reference to a reinforced steel or concrete shelter on a work site where employees can run for protection in case of terrorist attacks.

It featured in a 2014 book published in the US about life in the Fifties. It's not clear from the extract whether "duck and dive" was an expression in use then, or used in the book because it was known in 2014.

Extract via Google Books

The end of the fifties saw the greatest number of bomb shelters built in American backyards and "duck and dive" exercises carried out by American schoolchildren ...

The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times edited by Joseph J. Darowski, pub McFarland & Co, Jefferson NC 2014

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1  
Where? Is that UK only or other English speaking countries? It owuld be really good if you could liknk to an example of "duck and dive" being used in such a way. –  Matt Эллен Dec 9 at 9:01
    
Found an example from the United States. –  Andrew Leach Dec 9 at 23:17
    
It wasn't "duck and dive". It was "duck and cover"! –  Malvolio Dec 9 at 23:35
    
@Malvolio Yes, I found lots of "duck and cover" references. But not all. Even if it was "duck and cover", many of those referred to bars as dives (with reference to "diving for cover"), and -- even if it's slightly confused -- this American publication actually uses the phrase "duck and dive", so it must have come from somewhere. –  Andrew Leach Dec 9 at 23:38

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