Goose is cooked

  • Goose is cooked is an idiom with a mysterious origin. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common saying goose is cooked, where it may have come from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.


    The idiom goose is cooked means that one’s plans have been ruined, that one is doomed, that one is in trouble. The origin of the expression goose is cooked is not really known; many stories that are not based in fact currently circulate on the internet. The most likely origin of the popular saying goose is cooked is the Aesop fable about the goose that laid the golden egg. In the story, greedy people are not content to wait for the goose to lay its golden eggs; they kill the goose in order to obtain the golden eggs immediately in order to have a lot of money all at once, and they find they have ruined their source of good fortune. However, even this origin story is dubious, because the famous phrase goose is cooked did not come into popular use until the mid-1800s. The sentiment is sometimes rendered as cook one’s goose.



    And, unlike Silent Cal, Trump knows well his political goose is cooked if he doesn’t win the Sunshine State. (The Palm Beach Post)

    Rather than making our leaders feel like their goose is cooked, we should find ways to work together. (Northern News Services)

    What is this maniac going to do, when he realizes that HE is a loser, when his goose is cooked in November, no matter how many polls Rich Mitch McConnell closes in Kentucky and elsewhere? (The High Plains Reader)

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