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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. Jansʹ-beeren, he continues, has been corrupted into Gans-beeren, 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 appearanceʹ sake. The person “who plays propriety” is expected to hear, see, and say nothing. (See Goose-berry 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.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Goodwin Sands
Goodwood Races
Goody Blake
Goody Two-Shoes
Goose and Gridiron
Goose at Michaelmas
Gooseberry Fool
Gooseberry Picker (A)
Goose Dubbs
Goose Gibbie
Gopher-wood (נמר)
Gordian Knot
Gordon Riots