goose

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English goos, gos, from Old English gōs, from Proto-West Germanic *gans, from Proto-Germanic *gans, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰh₂éns.

  • The tailor's iron is so called from the likeness of the handle to the neck of a goose.
  • The verb sense of pinching the buttocks is derived from a goose's inclination to bite at a retreating intruder's hindquarters.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: gōōs, IPA(key): /ˈɡuːs/, [ɡʉːs], [ɡʉs]
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːs

Noun[edit]

A flying goose

goose (countable and uncountable, plural geese)

  1. Any of various grazing waterfowl of the family Anatidae, which have feathers and webbed feet and are capable of flying, swimming, and walking on land, and which are bigger than ducks.
    There is a flock of geese on the pond.
  2. A female goose (sense 1).
  3. The flesh of the goose used as food.
    • 1843, Charles Dickens, “Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits”, in A Christmas Carol:
      Mrs. Cratchit made the gravy (ready beforehand in a little saucepan) hissing hot; Master Peter mashed the potatoes with incredible vigour; Miss Belinda sweetened up the apple-sauce; Martha dusted the hot plates; Bob took Tiny Tim beside him in a tiny corner at the table; the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody, not forgetting themselves, and mounting guard upon their posts, crammed spoons into their mouths, lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped.
  4. (slang, plural geese or gooses) A silly person.
    • 1906, Langdon Mitchell, “The New York Idea”, in John Gassner, editor, Best Plays of the Early American Theatre, 1787-1911[1], published 2000, →ISBN, page 430:
      I'm sorry for you, but you're such a goose.
    • 1994, Barbara Benedict, Love and Honor, New York, N.Y.: Jove Books, →ISBN, page 65:
      Have you stopped to think, you gooses, that Andy might not wish you to give it away?
    • 2014, Julie Berry, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, New York, N.Y.: Roaring Brook Press, Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership, →ISBN:
      You gooses. I didn’t accept his proposal. Mrs Plackett did. She did because she would. Don’t you see?
    • 2019, Julia London, The Princess Plan, HQN Books, →ISBN:
      Surely I needn’t explain to you gooses that none of you, not even you, Caro, have the sort of dowry or connections or the appeal that such a match would require.
  5. (archaic) A tailor's iron, heated in live coals or embers, used to press fabrics.
    Synonym: goose iron
  6. (South Africa, slang, dated) A young woman or girlfriend.
  7. (uncountable, historical) An old English board game in which players moved counters along a board, earning a double move when they reached the picture of a goose.

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Verb[edit]

goose (third-person singular simple present gooses, present participle goosing, simple past and past participle goosed)

  1. (transitive, slang) To sharply poke or pinch the buttocks of (a person).
    • 1933, Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts:
      She greeted Miss Lonelyhearts, then took hold of her husband and shook the breath out of him. When he was quiet, she dragged him into their apartment. Miss Lonelyhearts followed and as he passed her in the dark foyer, she goosed him and laughed.
  2. (transitive) To stimulate; to spur.
    • December 7 2021, Jesse Hassenger, “Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence cope with disaster in the despairing satire Don’t Look Up”, in AV Club[2]:
      Almost everyone in McKay’s impossibly starry cast feels like they’re jumping into the SNL host role, game for some light comedic lifting while waiting for the pros to show up and goose the laughs.
  3. (transitive, slang) To gently accelerate (an automobile or machine), or give repeated small taps on the accelerator.
  4. (British slang) Of private-hire taxi drivers, to pick up a passenger who has not booked a cab. This is unauthorised under UK licensing conditions.
  5. (transitive, slang) To hiss (a performer) off the stage.