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What does the phrase “not this little black duck” mean? I know it’s common among Australian people but I am not sure what does it mean.

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2 Answers 2

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It's a direct reference to the Looney Tunes cartoon Daffy duck. In multiple episodes, when confronted with a difficult situation he walked away stating "not this little black duck". As in:

Your not telling me what to do/I'm not walking into that situation.

For example: What a confirmed bachelor might say being set up on a blind date with a woman who is 6 months pregnant.

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As an Australian I can say I’ve never heard the expression. However, it does seem to be valid and is explained in World Wide Words on:

https://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-duc1.htm

In brief, according to this source, it is used as an indication that the speaker is not so stupid as they are being taken to be.

Following a comment from Stuart F (thank you), I quote the source of the link which said, in part:

"The consensus is that it does come from the Warner Bros Daffy Duck cartoons, Daffy, of course, being a small black duck who used it as his catchphrase. Quite why Australians took this particular character to their hearts is a topic for some sociologist in need of a thesis. . . .

[Apparently] Daffy’s catchphrase is indeed said to have appealed first to black Australians. Presumably they were able to identify with this black underdog character, or at least find a rallying cry in his catchphrase as an indicator of ethnic pride. But how it shifted into the wider Australian community is still far from clear."

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  • This answer, which provides a good reference, really needs to be combined with the other answer which explains that it comes from Daffy Duck. Please include information in your post rather than just providing a link, just in case World Wide Words ever disappears.
    – Stuart F
    Oct 25 at 11:40

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