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See also: Gosling


Two geese with four goslings.


From Late Middle English gosling, goselyng (gosling), alteration (due to Middle English goos, gose (goose)) of earlier gesling (gosling), of North Germanic origin, from Old Norse gæsling, géslingr (gosling), from gás (goose) +‎ -lingr (-ling), equivalent to goose +‎ -ling. Cognate with Danish gæsling (gosling), Swedish gässling (gosling). Compare also Low German gossel, gössel (gosling), German Gänslein (gosling).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɡɒzlɪŋ/
  • (US, Canada) IPA(key): /ɡɑzlɪŋ/
  • (file)


gosling (plural goslings)

  1. A young goose.
    Synonym: gooseling
    • 1988, Bruce Chatwin, Utz, London: Jonathan Cape, →ISBN; republished London: Vintage Books, 2005, →ISBN, page 50:
      Marta's gander was a magnificent snow-white bird: the object of terror to foxes, children and dogs. She had reared him as a gosling; and whenever he approached, he would let fly a low contented burble and sidle his neck around her thighs.
    Coordinate terms: duckling, cygnet, swanling
  2. A callow (inexperienced, immature)), or foolish and naive, young person.
  3. (dated) A catkin on nut trees and pines.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bailey to this entry?)

Related terms[edit]



Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of goselyng