The idiom golden goose or goose that lays the golden eggs is used to describe a valuable source of income or wealth. I know, weird. Right? If you’re wondering how a bird laying golden eggs came to signify wealth, I’ve got a story for you!
The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs: The Meaning Explained
The idiom golden goose or the goose that laid the golden egg simply means a valuable resource that provides a consistent stream of income or some kind of wealth. It can be anything from a lucrative job, a successful business, or an investment that keeps giving returns.
It actually has nothing to do with the terrifying bird. (Yes, they scare me. I was chased by a goose when I was five, and I’ll never forget it!)
Origin and Etymology of the Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs
Like a lot of our idioms, the phrase originates from one of Aesop’s Fables— “The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs.” In the story, a couple owns a magical goose that lays a shiny egg made of real gold every day. Greed overtakes them, and they kill the goose hoping to get all the golden eggs at once.
Spoiler alert: That wasn’t a winning strategy. So, the moral of the story is not to destroy a reliable source of income in hopes of getting even more.
Golden Goose Synonyms
I know the phrase can feel a little cheesy, so try any one of these terms in place of it.
- Cash cow
- Money spinner
- Profit center
- Gold mine
- Money tree
- Bonus word: Mom (if you ask my kids)
Golden Goose Examples in a Sentence
- His tech startup became the golden goose, consistently bringing in massive profits every quarter.
- After a ton of failed attempts, she finally found the goose that laid the golden eggs in her successful cooking blog.
- The company’s new product line is expected to be the golden goose.
- Investing in real estate turned out to be a goose laying golden eggs for him.
- Despite the risky venture, the new photography business proved to be their golden goose.
- Their new app is like a goose laying golden eggs, bringing in steady revenue every single month.
- We need to protect our golden goose of Newfoundland—the tourism industry.
- His skills in web development are like golden eggs, landing him high-paying contracts every week.
- Don’t shoot the goose laying the golden eggs by spending all your savings at once.
- With this new patent, we could have a golden goose on our hands.
Egg-citing Idiomatic Stories
And that’s another idiom unscrambled. The golden goose isn’t about gilded poultry; it’s all about finding a reliable source of wealth. Just don’t forget the moral of the original story, though: greed can destroy the very thing that gives you wealth. Now, get cracking and read my other helpful guides to idioms!