Lame duck, the political term for an elected official who is in the period between when they are still in office but awaiting the inauguration of the successor (either through a recent loss in an election or because of term limits) is spiking this evening. It is January 12th, 2016, and President Barack Obama, currently a lame duck himself, is giving his final State of the Union address.
The term has not always been a political one; lame duck has existed for hundreds of years, and has had a variety of meanings. The earliest known use of it comes in 1761, in a letter from Horace Walpole (the man who coined serendipity) to Horace Mann: “Do you know what a Bull, and a Bear, and a Lame Duck are?” The answer, in this case, was that a lame duck was a person who was unable to meet their financial obligations (especially used to refer to a financial speculator). Lame duck has also been used to refer to a person whose performance suffers as the result of an injury.