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Say boo to a goose

Posted by Gary Martin on April 28, 2011 at 11:17

In Reply to: Say boo to a goose posted by barbara on April 28, 2011 at 11:05:

: We have a discussion raging about the correct phrase. My version (American) ...say boo to a goose...
: Suggested local (English) version ... say boo to a ghost...

: I see the logic in the UK version, but that's just not how we say it. Where does this come from?

'Say boo to a goose' is an English phrase which the OED records from the 17th century onward. The 'say boo to a ghost' version is just a misstating (either deliberate or accidental) of the original.