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goose


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The goose is proverbially contrasted with the swan as being the clumsier, less elegant, and less distinguished bird; it is also traditionally taken as a type of stupidity and folly.

A goose is the emblem of St Werburga, a Mercian princess and nun (d. c.700), who in her legend is said to have brought a goose back to life, St Bridget of Ireland, and St Martin of Tours.

goose-girl a girl employed to tend geese, in fairy stories the type of the peasant girl who marries a prince.

goose-step a military marching step in which the legs are not bent at the knee, especially associated with German militarism.

See also geese, golden goose, kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, Mother Gooseat mother, what's sauce for the goose, wild goose chase.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.


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