Goose Someone: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
October 3, 2023

The phrase "goose someone" has a slang meaning that refers to the act of poking or pinching someone, typically between the buttocks, as a prank or to startle them. This action is derived from the behavior of actual geese, which might nip or bite at someone's hindquarters if they approach or retreat from the bird.

In short:

  • "Goose someone" means to playfully poke or pinch someone, usually in the buttock area.
  • It could also mean to prod or urge someone into action or to surprise them.

What Does "Goose Someone” Mean?

When someone says they want to "goose someone," it typically means they want to give that person a surprise poke, usually in a playful manner. However, the phrase can also figuratively mean to urge or encourage someone to take action.

  • It can be a playful poke or touch, often in the rear.
  • It can also mean to spur someone into action.
  • Some synonyms for "goose someone" in the context of provoking someone might include "prod," "spur," "prompt," or "egg on."

Where Does "Goose Someone” Come From?

The idiom likely draws its origin from the behavior of geese. Geese are known to give sudden pecks, especially when provoked. This pecking or poking behavior of geese could have inspired the term "goose" as a verb. Over time, the term evolved to mean prodding someone into action or surprising them.

Historical Usage

"She gave him such a goose, he jumped up high!"

- An old journal from the 19th century, author unknown.

10 Examples of "Goose Someone” in Sentences

Understanding idioms becomes easier with examples. Here are ten sentences using "goose someone" in various contexts:

  • I didn't expect her to goose me from behind during the game.
  • You need to goose him a bit; he's always so laid back.
  • She goosed her brother, making him jump.
  • They tried to goose the speaker into starting early.
  • I got goosed by the cold breeze when I opened the window.
  • She's always goosing people at parties; it's her weird sense of humor.
  • Someone goosed me at the party, and I still don't know who it was.
  • I was goosed into action by the approaching deadline.
  • He goosed the engine, and the car roared to life.
  • Whenever you feel lazy, just think of your goals to goose your spirits.

Examples of "Goose Someone” in Pop Culture

Idioms often find their way into popular culture. Here are real instances of "goose someone" being used:

  • In the movie Top Gun, characters occasionally goose each other, leading to laughter and camaraderie.
  • The song "Goose Step Mama" by The Rutles subtly references the action, though not directly.
  • In an episode of the popular TV show "Friends", Joey gets goosed leading to a comedic situation.
  • A comic strip in the Calvin and Hobbes series showed Calvin goosing Hobbes as part of their playful antics.
  • During a talk show, celebrity Ellen DeGeneres joked about wanting to goose her producer.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Goose Someone"

There are several synonyms and related expressions for "goose someone." Let's explore some of them.

  • Nudge: As in giving someone a gentle push, either physically or metaphorically
  • Prod: This is similar to "nudge" but can be a bit stronger in urging someone into action
  • Jab: This can refer to a sudden poke, similar to "goose.
  • Spur: This means to encourage or stimulate action, especially with urgency.
  • Prompt: Often used in the context of reminding or motivating someone to do something
  • Egg on: This is an informal way of saying encourage or urge someone to do something, especially something foolish or risky.
  • Stimulate: This can refer to urging someone into action or arousing interest or enthusiasm.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Goose Someone”:

  • What does "goose someone" mean?

It means to prod or urge someone into action or to give them a playful surprise poke.

  • Where did the idiom come from?

It likely originates from the behavior of geese, known for their sudden pecks.

  • Is the idiom still popular today?

Yes, it's still used, especially in casual conversations and sometimes in popular culture.

  • Can "goose" be used in contexts other than prodding someone?

Yes, it can also mean to integrate someone into a situation or becoming keyed in to something.

  • Is it considered rude to "goose someone"?

In a physical context, it can be seen as intrusive, so it's essential to know the boundaries. In a figurative sense, it's generally playful.

  • How often is "goose someone" used in songs or movies?

It's not very frequent, but there are notable examples in pop culture.

  • Are there any idioms related to animals that have a similar meaning?

Yes, for example, "cat got your tongue" or "let the cat out of the bag. However, these idioms have distinct meanings.

  • Can I use "goose" in formal writing or conversations?

"Goose someone" is more appropriate in informal writing or conversations.

  • Is "goose" used in any other idioms?

Yes, phrases like "wild goose chase" or "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" also incorporate the word but have different meanings.

  • Can "goosing" mean something different in other cultures?

Idioms can indeed have different connotations in various cultures. It's always best to be cautious and understand the cultural context.

Final Thoughts About “Goose Someone”

The idiom "goose someone" can refer to a prank where one pokes their fingers on or between someone’s buttocks. Use this idiom when talking about playfully poking, tickling, or jabbing someone as a joke or prank.

Here's a brief roundup of what we've learned:

  • "Goose someone" means to prod or surprise someone.
  • Its origin likely lies in the behavior of geese.
  • The idiom has been featured in movies, songs, and TV shows.
  • There are several related expressions and synonyms.
  • Though used playfully, respecting boundaries and understanding their connotations in various settings is crucial.

So, next time you feel the urge to prod someone into action or play a light-hearted prank, you'll know there's an idiom for that!

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