in Aqua Scripto • Link
zero not in use yet: The OED full of nice variations mot came later,
I. Primary sense.
1. a. A swimming bird of the genus Anas and kindred genera of the family Anatidæ, of which species are found all over the world. [125 species]
Forms: . 4-5 doke (5 dooke, 6- Sc. duke, duk, duik (deuk). -) grade of *dúcan to DUCK, dive; cf. Da. duk-and lit. dive-duck (and = duck), Sw. dyk-fågel lit. dive-fowl, diver; and the synonyms under DUCKER1.
The phonological history presents some difficulties, esp. owing to uncertainty whether the OE. vowel was u or ú, and the development of the three ME. types: dukke, duk, corresp. to mod. duck; d
1610 SHAKES. Temp. II. ii. 136 Though thou canst swim like a Ducke, thou art made like a Goose.
II. Transferred uses.
3. a. A term of endearment.
1590 SHAKES. Mids. N. V. i. 282 O dainty Ducke: O Deere!
1607 MIDDLETON Fam. of Love I. iii, And now, sweet duck, know I have been for my cousin Gerardine's will.
1624 HEYWOOD Captives I. iii, For see you not too women? daynty ducks!