Green’s Dictionary of Slang

duck v.1

[SE duck (one’s head)/duck n.6 ]

1. to travel, to go.

[US]F.P. Dunne in Schaaf Mr Dooley’s Chicago (1977) 42: Oi think Oi’ll put on me rollers an’ duck.
[US]H. Blossom Checkers 53: The hardest job of my life was not to ‘pinch’ that coin and ‘duck.’.
[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 8: Now if I can duck up to the hay without bumping into a couple of collectors I’m O.K.
[US]R. Lardner Gullible’s Travels 109: I finally warned the Missus that if we didn’t duck back to our room I’d probably have a heart attack from excitement.
[US]C. Coe Hooch! 178: I’m duckin’ over to the barber shop.
[US]A.J. Liebling ‘The Jollity Building’ in Just Enough Liebling (2004) 264: The Count became so interested in his idea that he forgot to duck with Boatrace Harry’s money.
[US]C.S. Montanye ‘Death with Music’ in Thrilling Detective Feb. [Internet] The girl said something about having to duck and vanished.
[US]‘Blackie’ Audett Rap Sheet 15: It ended up with me ducking over to the hotel, sneaking my things out the back and meeting George later behind the depot.
[US]Valley Morn. Star (Harlingen, TX) 13 June 16/4: ‘Ain’t nobody scared of you, bro. Ain’t nobody ducking you. Ain’t nobody dodging you’.
[US]B. Malamud Tenants (1972) 35: My advice is you ought to duck down to the floor below and wait till he’s gone.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Real Thing 45: How about we duck up the jungo and get some toasted sandwiches?
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 11: A blond guy in a suede loafer ducking into the men’s room.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Davo’s Little Something 18: I might duck over and see me uncle Enrico.
[Aus]T. Winton ‘Defender’ in Turning (2005) 306: You mind if I duck up to the cabin for a bit of a lie-down?

2. (also duck on) to avoid, to escape from a person or thing.

S.F. Chron. 6 June 11/5: He would have ducked, too, if a detective hadn’t been dere.
[US]W. Irwin Confessions of a Con Man 166: I ducked from the town of the Scotch banker.
[US]D.G. Rowse Doughboy Dope 9: Cyzerznski only ducked a spell in the jug by handshaking with the top-kick.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘A Holy War’ in Chisholm (1951) 75: ‘Young friend!’ . . . . I tries to duck, but miss the bus.
[US]H. Roth Call It Sleep (1977) 248: C’mon! An’ don’t try to duck on us.
[US]J. Weidman What’s In It For Me? 358: What are you trying to do, duck somebody?
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 47: The waiters all seemed to be ducking him.
[US]T. Runyon In For Life 140: Officials couldn’t duck executions.
[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 34: She would spend half of the day trying to duck the kids.
[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 76: You been duckin’ me, ése.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 96: I know what the campaign law says, but there are ways to duck it.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 279: Duck the charm offensive.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 39: Think he slick, too. Duckin my ass.
[UK]K. Richards Life 230: We were no longer writing the headlines, we were ducking them.
[UK]J. Cornish Attack the Block [film script] 6: Oi! she’s duckin’! [...] Fam, she’s ghostin’!

3. to hide.

[UK]Sporting Times 22 Feb. 3/1: He found it more convenient to rely upon his fellow-passengers’ honour, and ‘duck,’ when travelling by rail to a meeting, than to go through the cold formality of purchasing his pasteboard.
[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 18: Duck! Do you hear me, duck! Into a pub, round a street corner, anywhere you like, but duck!
[US]J. Lait ‘Canada Kid’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 153: I strip him for a leather poke an’ duck in an alley an’ look inside. [Ibid.] ‘The Gangster’s Elegy’ 243: Next day the Kid gets hepped to who it was pulled that there rod, an’ of course he sends ’im word that he’ll croak ’im. The guy ducks.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Zigzags of Treachery’ in Nightmare Town (2001) 109: I seen this guy duck behind a pole until you was past.
[US]‘Paul Cain’ Fast One (1936) 211: You’ll have to duck while he’s here, baby [...] He’s the undercover legal representative for the Bellman administration.
[US]W. Mahoney ‘TheRuse in Cocaine Alley’ in Und. Detective Mar. [Internet] He’s ducked into this joint, or I miss my guess.
[US]W.R. Burnett Asphalt Jungle in Four Novels (1984) 162: The bookie made an abortive effort to duck into one of the cardrooms.
[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 20: Tony hissed. ‘Duck in here.’.

4. to get rid of.

[US]H. Ellison ‘Johnny Slice’s Stoolie’ in Deadly Streets (1983) 80: Fish was slower about ducking his [knife].
[US](con. 1950) E. Frankel Band of Brothers 4: Duck that butt! You hear anybody say the smoking lamp was lit?

5. see nod the nut under nut n.1

6. see duck out v.

In compounds

duckhole (n.)

a hideout.

[UK]N. Barlay Crumple Zone 191: You ever heard him mention anywhere? Round London? Round the motorways? Some duckhole?
duck-out (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

duck out (v.)

see separate entry.

duck the nut (v.)

() to hide oneself (and then to run off).

[Aus]Riverina Recorder (NSW) 24 Nov. 1/7: ‘Den he quits and ducks his nut. See?’ .
[Aus]Sun (Kalgoorlie, WA) 26 May 5/8: In a few moments he became aware that a couple of the pedallers he had passed were after him, and being a fair sprinter he ‘ducked his nut’ and gat.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 8 Jan. 1/5: It is understood that the enterprising gentleman’s ‘clerk’ had ducked his nut the moment he cooked the copper coming, and done a guy at a shade outside 2½ yards worse than evens.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 797: duck the nut - To hide; to drop quietly from sight.