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When i was writing about loose or lose, I offered the phrase loose together a goose in a memory trick, and started wondering about the origin.

You are watching: What does loose as a goose mean

Loose together a Goose: A phibìc Carolina people Saying?

The oldest example I can find remained in a book of north Carolina folk sayings indigenous 1930. (Actually it to be a publication from 1952 called The open minded C. Brown repertoire of phibìc Carolina Folklore: Games and rhymes. Beliefs and also customs. Riddles. Proverbs. Speech. Tales and also legends that referenced one more book from 1930 that offered the “loose together a goose” saying.) but still, 1930. That book didn’t describe the origin and also I started thinking it could be concerned the expression loosey-goosey, which also way “relaxed” or possibly “disorganized or chaotic.”

Remember Goosey Loosey native Chicken Little?

The oldest reference to loosey-goosey I might find to be from 1943, yet then I found that Goose Loose and also Goosey Loosey go earlier much, much farther.Goose loosened was a character in the story of Chicken tiny of “the sky is falling” fame. Most of the personalities in that individual tale had actually names the rhymed. There to be Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Foxy Loxey, and also so on, and in part accounts, Chicken small was even referred to as Chicken Licken. In one of the faster English tellings, The impressive Story the Chicken small by man Greene Chandler in 1840, the character was Goose-Loose, and also then later on they all obtained their -ey endings, and also Goose-Loose ended up being Goosey-Loosey, however in some cases Goosey-Poosey, hinting that the rhyming was much more important than the meaning.

Goosey Loosey Is also Connected come Goldilocks—Loosely

Around the same time, in the book The Doctor, Etc. i beg your pardon is a prose arsenal by the English poet Robert Southey. Also from the early 1800s, there’s a character dubbed Goosey-Loosey. I can’t call if this was released a couple of years prior to or a few years ~ the Chicken little story since the book was initially published in volumes between 1834 and 1847 the Goosey-Loosey character shows up about halfway throughout the book. Southey didn’t call the Chicken tiny story itself. Instead, he provided the Chicken small characters in a humorous piece around whether Aristotle’s delinquent that pets benefit native their connection with man is true.Since Southey lived in Britain and John Greene Chandler stayed in America, it seems unlikely that they would have been conscious of every other’s work-related published for this reason close to the exact same time. Chandler was plainly translating an earlier folk tale published in Danish, and perhaps Southey knew the the Danish source too. Or perhaps he did see Chandler’s translation of Chicken Little. I simply can’t tell. If you’re a folklore scholar that does know, you re welcome let me know since I’m yes, really curious.Regardless, Goosey Loosey was obtaining around.The greatest reason I’m informing you around Southey is that while reading about The Doctor, Etc. I discovered that it also contains the original printing that the Goldilocks story, which was titled ‘The Story of 3 Bears,’ i beg your pardon was additionally an adaptation of an older oral legend. And also I assumed it to be pretty fun to find a connection in between loose together a goose, Chicken Little, and Goldilocks.As because that the actual beginning of the expression loose as a goose, The thesaurus of American Slang is the only credible resource I might find, and it states (and ns quote) “It’s more than likely from the rhyme and the perception that a goose has loosened bowels.”Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and also the writer of seven publications on language, consisting of the new York time bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and also Dirty tips for better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting room of Fame, and also the show is a five-time winner of best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has showed up as a guest professional on the Oprah Winfrey Show and also the this day Show. She popularLinkedIn finding out courses assist people write much better to connect better.