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2017 Word of the Year

kill the goose that lays the golden eggs

Destroy a source of riches through stupidity or greed, as in If he never gives his loyal customers a break on some items in his store, he'll kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. This expression, already a proverb in the late 1400s, alludes to Aesop's fable about a farmer whose goose lays one golden egg a day, and who kills the goose in the mistaken belief that he'll get all the eggs at once.
The American HeritageĀ® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright Ā© 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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