have one's ducks in a row
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Perhaps from the image of ducklings following their mother in an orderly line. See also line up one's ducks.
Audio (AU) (file)
have one's ducks in a row (third-person singular simple present has one's ducks in a row, present participle having one's ducks in a row, simple past and past participle had one's ducks in a row)
- (idiomatic) To be organized; to have one's affairs in order; specifically, to have a multi-person effort coordinated towards the exact same goal.
- Wouldn't it be nice to have our ducks in a row and not have to search for the papers every time we needed them?
- 1911, Kate Langley Bosher, Miss Gibbie Gault:
- "You didn't need us." The man standing next to the steps laughed. "The work was done before to-night. You had your ducks in a row all right."
- Michael Quinion (created July 11, 2009, last updated June 23, 2012), “Ducks in a row”, in World Wide Words.
- Jonathon Green (2023), “have all one’s ducks in a row v.”, in Green's Dictionary of Slang