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  1. a young goose.
  2. a foolish, inexperienced person.

Origin of gosling

1375–1425; late Middle English goselyng; see goose, -ling1; cognate with Old Norse gæslingr
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gosling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Mr. Gosling mentioned a balloon that had escaped from Paris in July.

  • Nor a gosling,” murmured Pepé; “and a gosling only betrays himself by trying to sing.

    Wood Rangers

    Mayne Reid

  • He knocked at the door and the gosling said: "Who is knocking at the door?"

    Italian Popular Tales

    Thomas Frederick Crane

  • The wolf, well satisfied, saluted the gosling and went away.

    Italian Popular Tales

    Thomas Frederick Crane

  • And indeed he did blow down the house and ate up the gosling.

    Italian Popular Tales

    Thomas Frederick Crane

British Dictionary definitions for gosling


  1. a young goose
  2. an inexperienced or youthful person

Word Origin

C15: from Old Norse gæslingr; related to Danish gäsling; see goose 1, -ling 1
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

Word Origin and History for gosling


mid-14c. (late 13c. as a surname), from Old Norse gæslingr, from gos "goose" (see goose (n.)) + diminutive suffix. replaced Old English gesling. The modern word may be a Middle English formation from Middle English gos "goose."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper