Milkshake duck is a popular internet phrase, originating from a Twitter joke about Cancel-culture.
The phrase itself is used to refer to the tendency of people to adore someone online, only to learn an uncomfortable truth about the person and ostracize them.
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The expression was first used on June 12th, 2016, in the tweet of @pixelatedboat, describing the internet’s love for “Milkshake duck” only to reveal “the duck is racist”.
In January, 2017, the tweet was included in a Tumblr list of “15 Twitter Jokes Everyone Should Read”.
Spread and Usage
The phrase was first defined on Urban Dictionary on June 11th, 2017.
On the same day, at the E3 expo, the cyberpunk title The Last Light was announced, which at first captured the attention of the crowd, however discussions emerged the same evening about a lead developer had been involved in the GamerGate scandal.
“Milkshake Duck” was immediately brought up by Twitter user @Xythar, reacting to the dissipation of enthusiasm.
The original poster of the phrase, @pixelatedboat expressed their thanks to “Gamer Gate guy” for celebrating the tweet’s birthday “in style”.
The phrase was chosen as “Word of the Year” by the Australian Macquarie Dictionary on January 15th, 2018.
- Vox.com – Why everything is a Milkshake Duck
- The Guardian – What is a milkshake duck? And why isn’t it the word of the year?
- New York Times – How a Joke Becomes a Meme: The Birth of ‘Milkshake Duck’