Lame Duck : Phrases
A person or business which is ineffectual.
It is better for you to wind up this business. As on date, it is nothing but a lame duck.
The phrase was coined by actor Garrick in a play he wrote in 1771. In the play he describes Stock-Jobbers (dealers) in the Stock Exchange who could not or would not pay their debts - Change Alley bankrupts waddle out like lame ducks. The expression was taken up by the Stock Exchange. It then spread to the USA where it came to be applied to politicians near the end of their term of office and therefore ineffectual.
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