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ugly duckling

ugly duckling

Date: Apr 10 2008

Themes: Pop Culture


1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

“I grew up as the ugly duckling.”

- Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria Parker, on being teased by her siblings. (MSNBC)


1. Definition - Study the definition.

a person who is not appreciated or seen as beautiful until they are older; something different that is mistaken for something inferior

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

The phrase ugly duckling comes from a children’s story. There was a family of ducks and one of them was funny looking. Everyone thought he was a really little duck and made of fun of him. But when the ducks grew up, it turned out that he looked different because he was actually a swan! He grew to be the most beautiful swan in the lake.

When Eva Longoria Parker was a child, no one thought she was beautiful and her brothers and sisters teased her. But as an adult her looks began to be appreciated. Now, she stars in Desperate Housewives, a popular television show about gorgeous, wealthy suburban mothers. Now, everyone thinks Eva Longoria Parker is very good-looking. She definitely turned out to be a swan.

So anytime people treat you like an ugly duckling and are mean to you because you’re different, they’re probably just missing something. All you have to do is be patient and they’ll see that you’re really a swan.


1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

””You should go to your high school reunion. You were an ugly duckling in high school. They will be so surprised.”

“I also try to date the ugly ducklings. They are always nicer.”“



1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

hoada838 one that appears very unpromising but often has great potential
by hoada838
A person who wasn't pretty when he or she was child but he or she is beatiful person now
by Julietta_Mza
As a Danish person I should know this. A ugly duckling was a character in one of H.C. Andersen's fairy tales. The ugly duckling was bullied and called ugly by the other ducklings in the pond because he was bigger and clumsier than they were. But the reason that he was bigger than them is that he was really a swan. Thus grew to become more beautiful than the very ducklings that bullied him. So an ugly duckling is some one who is called ugly in his or her youth but become stunning and beautifúl when he or she is grown up
by DanishGirl
Jeff456 unattractive before
by Jeff456
I guess that means a girl was not so pretty but became a beautiful women when she grew up.
by eddiechiang
Turmeric Not pretty when a child or teenager, yet then turning in a real beauty.
by Turmeric
stacieliu it is often used to describe young girl who is not very beautiful,but at last will turn to be a lady
by stacieliu
dan119dan The one has the potential of becoming beautiful when she grows up
by dan119dan
Amir_Pink an ugly child who grows up to be attractive and beautiful.
by Amir_Pink
from ordinary to out of ordinary
by pengquanyao
the one who appears not so great when he is young,but then turn out to be amzing.
by Breeze zone
othello1 a person who turns out to be beautiful or talented against all expectations.
by othello1
juliebabe ugly duckling is when a person used to be a really ugly kid, but then later turned out to be really good-looking.
by juliebabe
sanne07 when your a child you used to be ugly but now your beautiful
by sanne07
a person who is very beautiful when grows up, instead of ugly at young age
by cynthia_0728
Avverrois It´s said of a person that initially you dont regard it as attractive and intersting but later somehow you end up doing.
by Avverrois
she was less attractive and famous, but later she has become more beautiful and popular
by Ala'a hamadeh
abuhaseeb an ugly duckling is a child who shows little promise ,who developes later into a real talent or beauty
by abuhaseeb
bahaa_diab a very plain child or unpromising thing that in time becomes or could become beautiful, admirable, important
by bahaa_diab
magicgirl5 I belive that this expression can be used of a person that seems to be ugly initially but is growing into something beatiful
by magicgirl5
honeydaisy I think "ugly duckling" means that she was ugly,people didn't think she's beautiful when she was a kid or teenager and now she is beautiful and looks good.
by honeydaisy
dynamicshh an ugly or unpromising child who grows into a beautiful or worthy person.
by dynamicshh
yerdua girl who had an ugly face / not pretty and become a beautiful women after grown up
by yerdua
ugly child in early age but now it becomes beautiful
by sadnan_2002
edsionte she said she were a simply girl,but she is a beautiful woman now .
by edsionte
liru considered ugly at first but has the potential of becoming beautiful or admirable in maturity.
by liru
Mary** An Ugly or plain child who grows up to be pretty and attractive !
by Mary**
Ledo We have story about ugly duckling.When he was small nobody likes him but when he grew up he became a beautiful swan. It is normal situation in our live.People changing and when person was ugly in school then he became very attractive after some years.
by Ledo
tracyyue72 This phrase used to decribe a girl whose appearance was unattractive and was ignored by surrounding when she was young, but a very big change after adult.
by tracyyue72
Person who considered as unpromosing or ugly later becomes a promising or beutiful child.
by kaushalyats
Pavlionka someone, who at first is unattractive, but then becomes very beautiful it's from fairy tail by H.C.Andersen, about The Ugly Duckling, who grows up and changes into The Gorgeous Swan
by Pavlionka
e_queeling One that is considered ugly or unpromising at first but has the potential of becoming beautiful or admirable in maturity.
by e_queeling

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Log in to Comment




the phrase is really
awesome even having the
word ugly…...
nice lesson…

03:11 PM Apr 16 2008 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

one should be so lucky to change this much,maybe the plastic surgeries
can also help ;)

08:53 AM Apr 16 2008 |




duckling,a babe in arm, but as moving on, they will turn out to be amazing.

05:12 AM Apr 14 2008 |


Czech Republic

I used to be :D but everybody is unique ;) just open your eyes :)

07:49 PM Apr 13 2008 |

li xu

li xu


I think everyone is ugly duckling once he know how to decorate and sell himself

12:19 PM Apr 11 2008 |




04:45 AM Apr 11 2008 |




ok, i caught that! ugly duckling = patinho feio!

05:46 PM Apr 10 2008 |



someone showing little future at first but then ….
I was too.

03:22 PM Apr 10 2008 |



Viet Nam

Wow, It seems like a part of a lot of romantic love stories. A boy and a girl spent the childhood together. He had never paid any attention to her apperance. Once day when they grew up, he startle to find out his childhood friend so beautiful,... then fell in love with her, tried to get her attention…

02:13 PM Apr 10 2008 |



Serbia and Montenegro

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

01:48 PM Apr 10 2008 |




everyone could be nicer than before, everyone is the ugly ducking.

01:41 PM Apr 10 2008 |

Carole Li

Carole Li


Ugly duckling turned out to be a swan eventually!

08:04 AM Apr 10 2008 |

Pink Angel

Pink Angel

Saudi Arabia

ok i see

03:18 AM Apr 10 2008 |




if only i was a ugly duckling.

01:39 AM Apr 10 2008 |

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