Duck Test

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The Duck Test Inductive Reasoning


The duck test is a humorous term for a form of inductive reasoning. Here’s how it can be explained:

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

The test implies that a person can figure out the true nature of an unknown subject by observing this subject’s readily identifiable traits. It is sometimes used to counter abstruse arguments that something is not what it appears to be.

The test is often used to identify something that is supposedly bad, and to justify the use of inductive logic in meting out punishment.

It is unclear who coined the saying “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck…”, more than one reference to it claimed different people for the saying. According to Wikipedia the term duck test is still frequently used in the United States to describe the process of attributing the identity of an unknown based on its traits, especially in certain forms of computing.

female mallard duck

This looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck. It therefore probably is a duck.

The duck test is common the United Kingdom, where it is sometimes called the “British Standard (BS) Duck Test” in imitation of the system of national standards.


In computer programming, duck typing is a style of dynamic typing in which an object’s current set of methods and properties determines the valid semantics, rather than its inheritance from a particular class or implementation of a specific interface. The name of the concept refers to the duck test.


Duck Trivia

  1. What type of test has a duck name, but is not specifically used for ducks. Ans: Duck Test
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  3. In the UK what is the test name for imitating the system of national standards? Ans: “British Standard (BS) Duck Test”
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  5. Ducks are found throughout the world on every continent except Antarctica.
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  7. There is a myth that says a duck’s quack won’t echo. It’s not true. It has been conclusively disproved in different scientific acoustic tests. This myth was featured as “busted” on an episode on the Discovery Channel Mythbusters show.
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  9. For more than 500 years ducks have been domesticated as pets and farm animals.
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  11. All domestic ducks are descendants from either the Muscovy duck or mallard.
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  13. There are over 100 species of ducks in the world, and many of them are uniquely specialized for different habitats, climates and diets.
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  15. Contrary to popular belief, very few ducks have “quack” calls, and their range of vocalizations includes whistles, grunts, chirps, squeaks, and growls.
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  17. A group of ducks can be called a raft, team or paddling.
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    During molting season, ducks lose feathers and can’t fly for about a month.

    Ducks’ feet can’t feel cold because their feet have no nerves or blood vessels thus making the duck unable to feel cold.

    wild ducks

    Female (left) and male (right) Mallard Duck or wild duck.

    Airplanes in America collide with an average of 100 ducks a year (according to federal records).

    A duck has three eyelids.



The perils of duck hunting are great- especially for the duck ~ Walter Cronkite  

Duck Quotes

Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow. ~ Proverb

Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan’s egg. ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait very, very long time. ~ Chinese Proverbs

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath. ~ Michael Caine

What, exactly, is the internet? Basically it is a global network exchanging digitized data in such a way that any computer, anywhere, that is equipped with a device called a ‘modem’, can make a noise like a duck choking on a kazoo ~ Dave Barry

Happy as a duck in water ~ Proverb


aff mktr playbook


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