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Posted by James Briggs on March 05, 2004

In Reply to: Phrase posted by maja daruwala on March 05, 2004

: what is the origin of the phrase 'to play gooseberry'? the meaning we know - how does it originate?

To play gooseberry now means to be an unwelcome third party at a lovers' meeting. In the past it was used somewhat less specifically and meant any unwanted third party. In the old days Gooseberry was one of the many euphemisms for the Devil, who was naturally not welcome in most company.