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A project that is doomed to failure from the start.

The government decision meant that the proposed boycott of South African goods was a dead duck.

Additional definitions for 'dead duck':

dead duckOne who is in serious danger or trouble.
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"dead duck." Phrases.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 21 Nov. 2017. <http://www.phrases.net/phrase/dead-duck_3180>.

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