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A subject close to my heart

Posted by Word Camel on April 05, 2003

In Reply to: Goose and gander posted by TheFallen on April 04, 2003

: : Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "What is good for the goose is good for the gander." Its meaning seems obvious to me, but I can find nothing on its origin.

: I belive that the original form of this phrase (at least over here in the UK) is "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander", and that the version which you quote is a later corruption.

: On that basis, I'd guess that the idiomatic expression stems from the culinary world. One wouldn't prepare two different sauces, one for a cooked goose and one for a cooked gander, because there's next to no practical difference between the two. What gets poured over one is equally suitable to be poured over the other.

: Any other opinions?

I suspect TheFallen has got it right. I have roasted many a goose and I have never found any evidence that ganders should be treated any differently that geese - though for anyone interested old geese are best avoided and wild or geese not fed on grain can taste unpleasantly of fish. Also, do not send cooked geese through the post. It always ends in tears.