lame duck

lame duck

– a person or thing that is disabled, helpless, ineffective, or inefficient.
– somebody, especially an elected official
– who cannot influence events any more
– a person or company that is in trouble
– someone who is in the last period of a term in an elective office and cannot run for reelection
– a person or thing that isn’t properly able to function, especially one that was previously proficient.
– having lost a re-election bid

1. Knowing she would be lame duck, the mayor decided to resign from office early and retire.
2. You can’t expect a lame duck President to get much accomplished.
3. The best way to avoid being a lame duck in office is to not get elected for another term.
4. You can’t expect much from a lame duck.
5. As a lame duck, there’s not a lot I can do.
6. The President was a lame duck during the end of his second term.
7. What do you expect from a lame-duck mayor?


This expression originated in the 1700s and then meant a stockbroker who did not meet his debts. It was transferred to officeholders in the 1860s.

The explanation of ‘lame duck’ is frequently applied to politicians who are known to be in their closing term of staff, when colleagues and electors look toward a successor. It is also sometimes used to explain office-holders who have lost an election but have not yet left office.

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put your foot in it

Meaning: say something (by mistake) that upsets, humiliates, or embarrasses someone

Example: Carla put her foot right in it when she congratulated her neighbour on being pregnant. It turns out she's not expecting but had just put on weight. Read on


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