In the popular Christmas carol, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, six geese a-laying were delivered during the sixth day.
With eggs symbolising new life and creation, the original meaning of the lyric supposedly refers to God’s creation of the world, which took six days to complete according to religious beliefs.
However, within a modern society the reference may become lost in translation and taken literally, especially as ‘goose’ and ‘geese’ are often used in popular culture and other traditional sayings.
As a PR agency, we have a fascination with words and how the English language can be used to convey the key messages of our clients – everything we write must be tailored for a specific target audience.
Therefore, light-hearted or tongue-in-cheek expressions and idioms can be extremely useful when it comes to writing blogs, articles or social media content, as they help inject personality into the conversation while illustrating the point being made.
For the sixth day of Christmas Work PR bring to you some of our favourite goose-related phrases that can help get the point across;
‘Take a gander’ – Meaning take a look, ‘take a gander’ is a phrase based on the male goose. Thought by some to have originated from thieves’ slang, this usage references the long necks of geese and their habit of poking their heads anywhere they can.
‘Your goose is cooked’ – If your goose is cooked then it means you’re in big trouble. This idiom stemmed from the death of Jan Hus, a Czech priest whose name resembled the Czech word husa meaning goose. The priest was burnt to death in the 14th Century.
‘Killing the goose that laid the golden egg’ – Meaning to destroy something that is profitable to you, this phrase came from Aesop’s fable of The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, which highlights the importance of appreciating what you have and not being greedy.
‘Wild goose chase’ – A ‘wild goose chase’ means to embark on a hopeless pursuit of something unattainable. This phrase was the name of a 16th century horse race, where the lead rider would be pursued by other riders, very similar to how geese fly in formation.
Including idioms is just another way to bring creativity to your writing. Next time you’re creating a blog or article, don’t be a silly goose – see if you can include some relatable phrases or expressions for your audience to enjoy.
Check out our previous instalments to read our takes on the 12 gifts