Gooseberry to Goth

Gooseberry Fox Talbot says this is St. John's berry, being ripe about St. John's Day. [This must be John the Baptist, at the end of August, not John the Evangelist, at the beginning of May.] Hence, he says, it is called in Holland Jansbeeren. Jans'-beeren, he continues, has been corrupted into Gansbeeren, and Gans is the German for goose. This is very ingenious, but gorse (furze) offers a simpler derivation. Gorse-berry (the prickly berry) would be like the German stachel-beere (the "prickly berry"), and kraus - beere (the rough gooseberry), from krauen (to scratch). Krausbeere, Gorse-berry, Gooseberry. In Scotland it is called grosser. (See Bear's Garlick.)
   To play gooseberry is to go with two lovers for appearance' sake. The person "who plays propriety" is expected to hear, see, and say nothing. (See Gooseberry Picker.)
   He played up old gooseberry with me. He took great liberties with my property, and greatly abused it; in fact, he made gooseberry fool of it. (See below.)

Gooseberry Fool A corruption of gooseberry foulé, milled, mashed, pressed. The French have foulé de pommes; foulé de raisins; foulé de groseilles, our "gooseberry fool."
    Gooseberry fool is a compound made of gooseberries scalded and pounded with cream.

Gooseberry Picker (A). One who has all the toil and trouble of picking a troublesome fruit for the delectation of others. (See Tapisserie.)

Goosebridge Go to Goosebridge. "Rule a wife and have a wife." Bocaccio (ix. 9) tells us that a man who had married a shrew asked Solomon what he should do to make her more submissive; and the wise king answered, "Go to Goosebridge." Returning home, deeply perplexed, he came to a bridge where a muleteer was trying to induce a mule to pass over it. The mule resisted, but the stronger will of the muleteer at length prevailed. The man asked the name of the bridge, and was told it was "Goosebridge." Petruchio tamed Katharine by the power of a stronger will.

Goose Dubbs of Glasgow. A sort of Seven Dials, or Scottish Alsatia. The Scotch use dubbs for a filthy puddle. (Welsh, dwb, mortar; Irish, doib, plaster.)

"The Guse-dubs o' Glasgow: O sirs, what a huddle o' houses, ... the green middens o' baith liquid and solid matter, soomin' wi' dead cats and auld shoon." - Noctes Ambrosianae.
Goose Gibbie A half-witted lad, who first "kept the turkeys, and was afterwards advanced to the more important office of minding the cows." (Sir Walter Scott: Old Mortality.)

Gopher-wood of which the ark was made.
   It was acacia, says the Religious Tract Society.
   It was boxwood, says the Arabian commentators.
   It was bulrushes, daubed over with slime, says Dawson.
   It was cedar, says the Targum of Onkelos.
   It was cypress, says Fuller, and kupar is not unlike gopher.
   It was ebony- wood, says Bockart.
   It was deal or fir-wood, say some.
   It was juniper-wood, says Castellus.
   It was pine, say Asenarius, Munster, Persie, Taylor, etc.
   It was wicker-wood, says Geddes.

Gordian Knot A great difficulty. Gordius, a peasant, being chosen king of Phrygia, dedicated his waggon to Jupiter, and fastened the yoke to a beam with a rope of bark so ingeniously that no one could untie it. Alexander was told that "whoever undid the knot would reign over the whole East." "Well then," said the conqueror, "it is thus I perform the task," and, so saying, he cut the knot in twain with his sword.

   To cut the knot is to evade a difficulty, or get out of it in a summary manner.

"Such praise the Macedonian got
For having rudely cut the Gordian knot."
Waller: To the King.

"Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter."
Shakespeare: Henry V. i. 1.

Gordon Riots Riots in 1780, headed by Lord George Gordon, to compel the House of Commons to repeal the bill passed in 1778 for the relief of Roman Catholics. Gordon was undoubtedly of unsound mind, and he died in 1793, a proselyte to Judaism. Dickens has given a very vivid description of the Gordon riots in Barnaby Rudge.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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