This Passel of Ducks is Hard at Work at a Winery

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Passel is a noun meaning “a large number or amount”.  A variant on parcel, the word gained popularity in the 19th century for its current meaning.  Parcel has multiple definitions, one of which is also, “a company, collection, or group of persons, animals, or things.”  Parcel entered the English lexicon in the 14th century distantly from the Latin word Particula meaning “small part.”  As with many words (e.g. cuss instead of curse, bust instead of burst), over time, the r was dropped and the word passel became popular in American writing during the mid 1800s.

A winemaker in South Africa owns a passel of ducks that are employed each day to keep the vineyards free of pests.  Unlike the stereotypical ducks, Indian Runner Ducks have an upright body which allows them to run instead of waddle on land.  The ducks love to forage for snails and insects making them an asset in the winemaker’s efforts to keep the vines pest-free with minimal pesticide use.  The parade of this passel of ducks as they commute to work is certainly a site to behold as this video shows:



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