Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(like) water off a duck's back

water off a duck's backlike water off a duck's back
1) something has no effect on somebody
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional HighSocial
    • the criticism is water off a duck's back to me
  • Analysis
    This expression is based on the literal characteristic that duck feathers have to resist water, and is used figuratively in relation to somebody's ability to resist insults, criticisms, or other negative verbal attacks. It does not apply to physical attacks. It can be used in both a social or professional setting, but its informality makes it more common in the former. A similar expression is 'no skin off my nose.'
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. Person A: "Are you upset about what Frank said to you?" Person B: "Not at all. It's water off a duck's back to me."
    2. My parents criticize me so often that their words have lost their impact. They've become like water off a duck's back."
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. Working in the service industry, sometimes you can find yourself on the receiving end of some harsh words or threats from customers. I have thick skin, though, so it's all water off a duck's back to me.
    2. Elizabeth can be difficult to work with she can get angry and shout quite often. I've been working with her for such a long time it's like water off a ducks back to me. When she gets like that, just ignore her.
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