from The Century Dictionary.
- noun One who herds geese.
- noun A fool; a silly fellow.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun Prov. Eng. See
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun UK, dialect
Sorry, no etymologies found.
People there make it their business to keep perhaps as many as a thousand geese, which, in the course of a year, will increase seven-fold, the geese being kept in the houses, and even bedrooms, of their owners whilst hatching, and a person called a gozzard having the charge of them.
This is more probable than a "jingling allusion ... to goose-herd or gozzard," which Dilke suggests.
How many of that vast flock of geese, which are now peacefully feeding over the long, cold wolds of Norfolk, or are driven gabbling and hissing by the gozzard to their pasture -- how many of those very geese were called into being simply for Christmas Day!