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[goos] /gus/
noun, plural geese for 1, 2, 4, 8; gooses for 5–7.
any of numerous wild or domesticated, web-footed swimming birds of the family Anatidae, especially of the genera Anser and Branta, most of which are larger and have a longer neck and legs than the ducks.
the female of this bird, as distinguished from the male, or gander.
the flesh of a goose, used as food.
a silly or foolish person; simpleton.
Slang. a poke between the buttocks to startle.
Informal. anything that energizes, strengthens, or the like:
to give the economy a badly needed goose.
a tailor's smoothing iron with a curved handle.
an obsolete board game played with dice and counters in which a player whose cast falls in a square containing the picture of a goose is allowed to advance double the number of his or her throw.
verb (used with object), goosed, goosing.
Slang. to poke (a person) between the buttocks to startle.
  1. to prod or urge to action or an emotional reaction:
    The promise of time off may goose the workers and increase profits.
  2. to strengthen or improve (often followed by up):
    Let's goose up the stew with some wine.
  3. to increase; raise (often followed by up):
    to goose up government loans in weak industries.
  4. to give a spurt of fuel to (a motor) to increase speed.
Idioms, plural geese.
cook someone's goose, Informal. to ruin someone's hopes, plans, chances, etc.:
His goose was cooked when they found the stolen gems in his pocket.
Origin of goose
before 1000; Middle English gose, goos, Old English gōs (plural gēs); cognate with German Gans, Old Norse gās; compare Sanskrit haṅsa, Greek chḗn, Latin ānser
Related forms
gooselike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for cook someone's goose


noun (pl) geese (ɡiːs)
any of various web-footed long-necked birds of the family Anatidae: order Anseriformes. They are typically larger and less aquatic than ducks and are gregarious and migratory See also brent goose, barnacle goose, greylag, snow goose related adjective anserine
the female of such a bird, as opposed to the male (gander)
(informal) a silly person
(pl) gooses. a pressing iron with a long curving handle, used esp by tailors
the flesh of the goose, used as food
all his geese are swans, he constantly exaggerates the importance of a person or thing
(informal) cook someone's goose
  1. to spoil someone's plans
  2. to bring about someone's ruin, downfall, etc
kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, to sacrifice future benefits for the sake of momentary present needs See also golden goose
Word Origin
Old English gōs; related to Old Norse gās, Old High German gans, Old Irish gēiss swan, Greek khēn, Sanskrit hainsas


(transitive) to prod (a person) playfully in the behind
noun (pl) gooses
a playful prod in the behind
Word Origin
C19: from goose1, probably from a comparison with the jabbing of a goose's bill
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cook someone's goose



"jab in the rear," c.1880, from goose (n.), possibly from resemblance of the upturned thumb to a goose's beak. Related: Goosed; goosing. In 19c. theatrical slang, to be goosed meant "to be hissed" (by 1818).



"a large waterfowl proverbially noted, I know not why, for foolishness" [Johnson], Old English gos, from Proto-Germanic *gans- "goose" (cf. Old Frisian gos, Old Norse gas, Old High German gans, German Gans "goose"), from PIE *ghans- (cf. Sanskrit hamsah (masc.), hansi (fem.), "goose, swan;" Greek khen; Latin anser; Polish gęś "goose;" Lithuanian zasis "goose;" Old Irish geiss "swan"), probably imitative of its honking.

Spanish ganso "goose" is from a Germanic source. Loss of "n" sound is normal before "s." Plural form geese is an example of i-mutation.

Meaning "simpleton" is from 1540s. To cook one's goose first attested 1845, of unknown origin; attempts to connect it to Swedish history and Greek fables have been unconvincing. Goose egg "zero" first attested 1866 in baseball slang. The goose that laid the golden egg is from Aesop.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cook someone's goose

cook someone's goose

verb phrase

To ruin or destroy someone; finish •Very often in the passive form, ''our goose is cooked'': I know I've basically cooked my own goose here

[1845+; origin uncertain; one legend has it that a Swedish king Erik was mocked, as he approached a town, by a goose hanging over the wall, the goose being a symbol of folly and stupidity. The king thereupon burned the town and cooked the goose]



  1. A rough prod in the anal region: He threatened a goose, and I cringed
  2. A strong verbal prodding: The whole bunch needed a good goose


  1. To prod someone roughly and rudely in the anal region, usually as a coarse and amiable joke: As she was bending over her lab table, a playful lab assistant goosed her (1881+)
  2. To exhort strongly and irritably; goad harshly: and goosed the media into hyping them/ Every once in a while goose it with defense spending (1930s+)
  3. To run an engine at full speed or with spurts of high speed; gun: Vroom-vroom-vroom, he goosed the engine to full-throated life (1940s+)

Related Terms

cook someone's goose, as full of shit as a christmas goose, loose as a goose

[fr the presumed prodding action of an angry goose; influenced by an earlier sense, ''to do the sex act to; screw,'' where the instrument is a tailor's goose, a smoothing iron with a curved handle, found by 1690]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with cook someone's goose

cook someone's goose

Ruin someone, upset someone's plans. For example, He thinks he'll get away with stealing my idea, but I'm going to cook his goose. The origin of this phrase has been lost, but there are numerous fanciful theories; one concerns a besieged town that displayed a goose to show it had enough food, causing the attackers to set it on fire. The first recorded use of this colloquial phrase was in 1851.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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