Ugly Duckling (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Ugly Duckling"?

If somebody is described as an ugly duckling, it means they will grow up to be beautiful. The phrase comes from a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen. The tale is about a cygnet that was nested accidently by a duck. The cygnet hides away due to its appearance (i.e., different to the ducklings) but later transforms into a beautiful swan.

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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs