Where Did the Term “Canard” For a Deliberately Misleading Story Come From and What Does it Mean?

A “canard” is a story or a statement that is a hoax or a lie.

Canard is French for duck, but in English the word refers to a deliberate falsehood and is based on a French proverb about cheating or swindling.

Vendre un canard a moitie literally translated means “to half sell a duck.”

However, the expression probably means “to sell half a duck.”

Selling a bag containing a half duck as if it were whole at a busy farmers’ market would constitute a deliberate “lie” with the intention of cheating the purchaser.

The U.S. reason for invading Iraq has been called a canard.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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