American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various wild or domesticated water birds of the family Anatidae, and especially of the genera Anser and Branta, characteristically having a shorter neck than that of a swan and a shorter, more pointed bill than that of a duck.
- n. The female of such a bird.
- n. The flesh of such a bird used as food.
- n. Informal A silly person.
- n. A tailor's pressing iron with a long curved handle.
- n. Slang A poke, prod, or pinch between or on the buttocks.
- v. Slang To poke, prod, or pinch (a person) between or on the buttocks.
- v. Slang To move to action; spur: goosed the governor to sign the tax bill.
- v. Slang To give a spurt of fuel to (a car, for example); cause to accelerate quickly. "The pilot goosed his craft, powering away” ( Nicholas Proffitt).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Any bird of the family Anatidæ and subfamily Anserinæ, of which there are about 40 species of several genera, as well as different varieties of the domesticated bird. See phrases below. Geese are technically distinguished from swans and from ducks by the combination of feathered lores, reticulate tarsi, stout bill high at the base, and simple hind toe. The neck is shorter than in swans, and usually longer than in ducks; the sexes are usually similar, contrary to the rule among ducks. Geese stand higher and walk better than ducks; as a rule they are less decidedly aquatic and more herbivorous, the cæca being more highly developed in consequence. Geese have a peculiar cry or call known as honking, and also utter a hissing sound. The flesh of most geese is highly esteemed. The tame goose in all its varieties is supposed to be descended from the graylag or common wild goose of Europe, A. ferus; but some other related species may have contributed to the domestic stock. The pure-white variety is entirely artificial, and not related to the snow-geese of the genus Chen. The male of the goose is called
gander, and the young of either sex gosling.
- n. A silly, foolish person; a simpleton: in allusion to the supposed stupidity of the domestic goose, inferred from its somewhat clumsy appearance and motions.
- n. A tailors' smoothing-iron: so called from the resemblance of its handle to the neck of a goose.
- n. A game of chance formerly common in England. It was played on a card divided into small compartments numbered from 1 to 62, arranged in a spiral figure around a central open space, on which, at the beginning of the game, the stakes were laid, and during the game any forfeits paid. It was played by two or more persons with two dice, and the numbers that turned up to each designated the number of the compartment by which he might advance his mark or counter. It was called the game of goose because at every fourth and fifth compartment in succession a goose was depicted on the card, and, if the throw of the dice carried the counter of the player on a goose, he might move forward double the actual number thrown.
- n. A piece used in the game of fox and geese.
- n. The European graylaggoose.
- To hiss at; hiss down; condemn by hissing.
- n. In keno, the globe from which the numbered balls are withdrawn.
- n. Any of various grazing waterfowl of the family Anatidae, bigger than a duck
- n. The flesh of the goose used as food.
- n. slang A stupid person
- n. archaic A tailor's iron, heated in live coals or embers, used to press fabrics.
- n. South Africa, slang, dated A young woman or girlfriend.
- v. slang To sharply poke or pinch someone's buttocks. Derived from a goose's inclination to bite at a retreating intruder's hindquarters.
- v. To stimulate, to spur.
- v. slang To gently accelerate an automobile or machine, or give repeated small taps on the accelerator.
- v. British slang Of private-hire taxi drivers, to pick up a passenger who has not pre-booked a cab. This is unauthorised under UK licensing conditions.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Any large web-footen bird of the subfamily
Anserinæ, and belonging to Anser, Branta, Chen, and several allied genera. See Anseres.
- n. Any large bird of other related families, resembling the common goose.
- n. A tailor's smoothing iron, so called from its handle, which resembles the neck of a goose.
- n. A silly creature; a simpleton.
- n. A game played with counters on a board divided into compartments, in some of which a goose was depicted.
- v. pinch in the buttocks
- v. give a spurt of fuel to
- n. a man who is a stupid incompetent fool
- v. prod into action
- n. flesh of a goose (domestic or wild)
- n. web-footed long-necked typically gregarious migratory aquatic birds usually larger and less aquatic than ducks
- Old English gōs, from Proto-Germanic *gans, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰans (compare West Frisian goes, North Frisian göis (also Fering-Öömrang dialect gus; Sölring dialect guus; Heligoland dialect gus), Dutch gans, German Gans, Danish gås, Swedish gås, Norwegian gås, Icelandic gæs, Irish gé, Latin ānser, Latvian zùoss, Russian гусь (gus'), Albanian gatë, Ancient Greek χήν (chén), Avestan 𐬰𐬁 (zā), Sanskrit हंस (haṃsa)). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English goos, from Old English gōs. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The Michaelmas goose is said to owe its origin to Queen Elizabeth's dining on one at the table of an English baronet on that day when she received tidings of the dispersion of the Spanish Armada, in commemoration of which she ordered the _goose_ to make its appearance every Michaelmas.”
“December 5th, 2009 11: 57 am ET game on, sarah. i th ink the media ought to dig into this woman's past associations, her conflicts of interest as governor – everything. what's good for the goose is also good for the gander. one question i would like to have answered – why did it take her 5 or 6 colleges to get a degree in communications – only to be a 'C' average student?”
“While nearly perfect for upland game, they will happily retrieve out of water, but may be a bit on the small side for retrieving larger birds like Canadian Geese (especially, if the goose is alive and struggling).”
“What's sauce for the goose is a light gravy for the gander”
“It doesn't matter if he wins NC because his goose is already cooked!”
“What good for the goose is also good for the gander.”
“Milton had his foot to the floor, engaging what he called the goose gear.”
“A piece of his mast being yet standing, he made what they call a goose-wing sail, that is, a little piece of the sail out, just to keep the boat steddy, and with this we got up as high as”
“Can the alleged Hindoo phenomenon be identical with what we call goose flesh -- French frisson?”
“The dressing of beechnuts proved a rare success, but the preparation proved so long a process that only the delicate young bird made ready for the table where Mistress Brewster presided was thus honored, although in after times Priscilla often made what she called goose-dressing; and when a few years later some sweet potatoes were brought to Plymouth from the Carolinas, she at once adopted them for the same purpose.”
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