Idiom #17 An Ugly Duckling
This week’s idiom: ‘An ugly duckling.’
An awkward, ungainly, unattractive child who develops into a graceful, beautiful adult is said to be an ugly duckling.
A mother duck hatches her brood only to find one duckling larger and uglier than the rest. He was very much a misfit and soon received much harassment from the other barnyard residents who eventually drive him away to fend for himself. After a struggle to survive the ugly ‘duckling’ develops into a beautiful swan.
The moral of the story is that inner beauty will always overshadow outer appearance. Interestingly, the Wikipedia article goes into a deeper analysis than I have here, postulating that this story is possibly a metaphor for Andersen’s own unhappy life.
As a child she was such an ugly duckling, but look at Sarah’s beauty and grace now.