There was a time when there were no cartoon ducks. All ducks were serious.
In fact, the comical portrayal of a duck was illegal in 16th century France. And it wasn't until Victorian England that the first hint of a smile was painted onto the beak of a drake named Hodgeminton in Surrey.
Historically, human attempts at emulating duck expression were strictly utilitarian, lacking the implicit sonic parody of a Donald or a Daffy. The word 'quack' actually originates from the Greek 'quaccus,' which means 'very serious.' (cont.)
So somber in tone were these throaty imitations of water fowl, that the earliest duck calls -- far from being hunting aids -- were originally used to temporally delimit speeches at Viking funerals.
Some scholars attribute the association between quacking and hilarity to Spinoza, who according to undocumented legend accidentally stepped on a duck while contemplating God. The bird emitted a sound so funny that 2 nearby monks violated their vows of silence in a fit of giggling

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