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Goose-egg "zero" first attested 1866 in baseball slang, from being large and round. if anyone can tell me the origin of the verb. ), The Secret Science of Solving Crossword Puzzles, Racist Phrases to Remove From Your Mental Lexicon. (Dialogue between witch and children). It occurred to me that that may be the original phrase, and came more from the assonance in English between “stupid” and “goose” than from any particular derision toward geese vs other birds.

Silly originally meant "pious" and was applied to the animals both sheep and goose. This term originates from several sources.

Male geese are quite aggressive in the barnyard and chase and bite while you are doing chores.

Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. They panic easily, are in a constant uproar, they're dumb and goofy. The government's proposed scheme to fix income inequality by overhauling the tax code in favor of corporations is about as silly as a goose. Silly goose It is a term people use when someone is being silly. I'm not sure when it came to be used as it is now, but the affectionate term had a different use once. Does anyone have any insight into this or can point me in the right direction? Silly came to be used to describe animals in the 17th century, and the meaning shaded to “weak” or “feeble”. Goose was meant to imply happy/innocent and sheep innocent/pure. "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition). The Samuel Johnson dictionary describes geese as, “Large waterfowl proverbially noted, I know not why, for foolishness.". I thought it was a clarifier; most geese are known to present aggressively, so you're referencing an anomaly. Everyone thought I was silly as a goose growing up—my head in the clouds, lost to dreams of impossible things. I recently read a very old translation/version of a brothers grimm fairy tale (Hansel and Gretel), The term “stupid goose” was used. Does anyone know the full name of the cited author – [Buck]? I hear young children calling people a silly goose when they do something that the kids think doesn't make sense.

To cook one's goose first attested 1845, of unknown origin; attempts to connect it to Swedish history and Greek fables are unconvincing.

USEFUL RESOURCES: etymonline.com, wiktionary.org, oed.com (get access through your local library or institution), books.google.com/ngrams, trends.google.com, Press J to jump to the feed.

If you've ever spent much time around domestic geese, you would have your answer.

The goose that lays golden eggs (15c.) Meaning "simpleton, silly or foolish person" is from early 15c. The expression “silly goose” refers to a person who acts in a childish, foolish but somewhat comical way. Those silly bastards are out for blood.

Press J to jump to the feed. See https://www.etymonline.com/word/goose#etymonline_v_9053. Basically the “silly” is kind of redundant in the phrase, as a goose was considered foolish (for reason’s unknown) anyway. As to the sense evolution, the tail end commentary of https://www.etymonline.com/word/silly#etymonline_v_23518 is on target. Basically – first used in 1880s and a guess of "resemblance of the upturned thumb to a goose's beak". Again another sub could probably tell you more.

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It is a widespread phenomenon that the words for 'innocent', apart from their legal use, develop, through 'harmless, guileless', a disparaging sense 'credulous, naive, simple, foolish.'

The second source is that the goose was the emblem for a vain or silly man in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Again another sub could probably tell you more. In saying that, I am not sure, or willing to find a citation; happy to be corrected.



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