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. "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition). https://www.etymonline.com/word/goose#etymonline_v_9053, https://www.etymonline.com/word/silly#etymonline_v_23518. [Buck]. See also: goose, silly Does anyone have any insight into this or can point me in the right direction? One source is their ungainly, waddling walk, which makes them look clumsy when on land, despite their grace in the water. Please read the rules before participating, as we remove all comments which break the rules. So I think there is a sub for word origins and I hope I'm not violating the rules by answering you. Does anyone know the full name of the cited author – [Buck]? Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Goose-egg "zero" first attested 1866 in baseball slang, from being large and round. Again another sub could probably tell you more. Basically the “silly” is kind of redundant in the phrase, as a goose was considered foolish (for reason’s unknown) anyway. Press J to jump to the feed. Is the Coronavirus Crisis Increasing America's Drug Overdoses? (1) One of the earliest appearances of seely - or silly - goose occurred in a collection of poems printed in 10 editions (from 1576 to 1606 ), called The Paradise of Dainty Devices ; it is unclear whether silly or seely was used though; no facsimile of any of the original editions if anyone can tell me the origin of the verb. The Samuel Johnson dictionary describes geese as, “Large waterfowl proverbially noted, I know not why, for foolishness.". I'm gonna guess it's the former explanation, because any time I've been near a goose it doesn't seem very harmless or pure. ), The Secret Science of Solving Crossword Puzzles, Racist Phrases to Remove From Your Mental Lexicon. Most parts of a human are fairly well protected against geese, so after they get kicked going for your ankles a couple times they go for the soft defenseless ass cheek, it's at the right height. (Dialogue between witch and children). Silly originally meant "pious" and was applied to the animals both sheep and goose. Silly goose It is a term people use when someone is being silly. 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.' Fact Check: What Power Does the President Really Have Over State Governors? A final potential source is that it comes from fables and fairy tales where a goose is often seen as stupid. GOOSE or GEESE - "A foolish or ignorant person is called a goose because of the alleged stupidity of this bird." The entry in the Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable states, “A foolish or ignorant person is called a goose because of the alleged stupidity of this bird." 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.

In saying that, I am not sure, or willing to find a citation; happy to be corrected. But considering the already existing sexual connotations; I'd guess that the location of delivery has more to do with it. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Particularly foolish, silly, or frivolous.

I wonder if that predates “silly goose” and teachers/parents/etc evolved to use silly instead of stupid to avoid use of the harsher adjective with small children. The goose that lays golden eggs (15c.) Silly originally meant "pious" and was applied to the animals both sheep and goose. Goose was meant to imply happy/innocent and sheep innocent/pure. I've been doing some research on the origin of this phrase and I've found some conflicting information. Source: The Lost Language Of Symbolism by Harold Bayley, https://books.google.com/books?id=WcSvLTFaknAC&lpg=PA96&ots=4yCbIHxdiW&dq=silly%20goose%20origin&pg=PA96#v=onepage&q=silly%20goose%20origin&f=false, New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the AskHistorians community. The third source is that the goose is often portrayed as being the unwise or gullible one in fairy tales and fables, such as “The Fox and the Goose”. The perception of geese as being particularly stupid and emblematic of foolishness has four possible sources.

The expression “silly goose” refers to a person who acts in a childish, foolish but somewhat comical way. is from Aesop.

Bonus question: I'm pretty sure there is next to no info on this since it is such an unknown slang term and I've been unable to find anything, but if anyone can tell me the origin of the verb "to goose" (to poke someone between the asscheeks), that would also be super interesting. A final potential source is that it comes from fables and fairy tales where a goose is often seen as stupid. They panic easily, are in a constant uproar, they're dumb and goofy.

Goose was meant to imply happy/innocent and sheep innocent/pure. In this case, calling one a 'silly goose' would extrapolate to, "You're unusual, possibly judgementally-impaired, but not in a way I find detrimental to anyone but yourself so I'll make an light-hearted offhand comment, rather than a direct and serious criticism.". Basically – first used in 1880s and a guess of "resemblance of the upturned thumb to a goose's beak". I'm not sure when it came to be used as it is now, but the affectionate term had a different use once. If you've ever spent much time around domestic geese, you would have your answer. Another is that the goose in Egyptian hieroglyphics was the emblem for a silly man (though whether this would survive to live on in English I don’t know). The Portal for Public History

1. Cookies help us deliver our Services. I have absolutely no idea why the saying mentions a goose. Silly came to be used to describe animals in the 17th century, and the meaning shaded to “weak” or “feeble”. 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. Festival of Sacrifice: The Past and Present of the Islamic Holiday of Eid al-Adha.

(denigrating) Silly person, usually referring to female. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. I've read that "silly" used to be "seely" which meant "harmless or pure" after the 13th century and was often applied to animals, but then it's unclear how "pure and innocent goose" came to mean a airheaded goof. This term originates from several sources. What is the origination of the phrase? 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. Everyone thought I was silly as a goose growing up—my head in the clouds, lost to dreams of impossible things. To pinch someone's buttock. 2. Answers must be in-depth and comprehensive, or they will be removed. Nobody knows why for sure but there are several theories as to why goose = foolish... One is simply their silly walk, that looks unbalanced and nowhere near as graceful as other birds’ movement. Cookies help us deliver our Services. This term originates from several sources. If their mates come too close to another male, the angry goose will stand in between them, comically waggling its wings and making hissing sounds to deter his rival.


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