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    #1

    goose and gander change gender?

    Hi,

    I am interested in why there seems to be a gender shift in the meaning vs. the expression of the proverb: What's good for the goose is good for the gander." The general meaning is what is good for the male is good for the female. However, the order of the goose (female) and gander (male) is reversed in the proverb?

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    #2

    Re: goose and gander change gender?

    Hello K.,

    I'd always assumed the proverb was ambidirectional; but it would be interesting to see whether common usage tends towards the "what's good for the male is good for the female" meaning.

    MrP

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    #3

    Re: goose and gander change gender?

    Quote Originally Posted by krakowski View Post
    Hi,

    I am interested in why there seems to be a gender shift in the meaning vs. the expression of the proverb: What's good for the goose is good for the gander." The general meaning is what is good for the male is good for the female. However, the order of the goose (female) and gander (male) is reversed in the proverb?
    Male is often put before female in Manglish spoken English: brothers and sisters - Dear Sir or Madam
    The order in the proverb puts goose before gander because goose has a higher frequency than gander which some people even have not heard of. Still we have:
    Ladies and gentlemen
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 14-Dec-2006 at 08:55.

  1. curmudgeon's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: goose and gander change gender?

    Dr Jamshsid is right, the male always comes before the female- it's not right and it's not fair but that's the way it is (I Think you'll find it's that way in most languages and cultures.) I'm sure Ouisch will disagree but what can I say?

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    #5

    Re: goose and gander change gender?

    Quote Originally Posted by curmudgeon View Post
    Dr Jamshsid is right, the male always comes before the female- it's not right and it's not fair but that's the way it is (I Think you'll find it's that way in most languages and cultures.) I'm sure Ouisch will disagree but what can I say?
    Yes, in Spanish for example you say:
    Los padres both parents (literally the fathers)
    Los hijos children (literally the boys)
    I hope I wrote the Spanish words correctly. If not please forgive.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: goose and gander change gender?

    Quote Originally Posted by krakowski View Post
    Hi,

    I am interested in why there seems to be a gender shift in the meaning vs. the expression of the proverb: What's good for the goose is good for the gander." The general meaning is what is good for the male is good for the female. However, the order of the goose (female) and gander (male) is reversed in the proverb?
    In some cases, proverbs just get jumbled. There is "you can't have your cake and eat it (too)", which would be better as "you can't eat your cake and (still) have it".

    Interestingly, this proverb seems to be losing its gender meaning. It is often used as a general statement about fairness. Gender aside, a goose and a gander are both birds. What's good for one bird is good for another.

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    #7

    Re: goose and gander change gender?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    In some cases, proverbs just get jumbled. There is "you can't have your cake and eat it (too)", which would be better as "you can't eat your cake and (still) have it".
    I wonder perhaps more logically "jumbled" if any but language defies logic (superior to logic and allows ambiguity). In the proverb mentioned have is put before eat I think because have as the second most important verb after BE has a very high frequency. It can even replace eat.
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 14-Dec-2006 at 11:46.

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    #8

    Re: goose and gander change gender?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim View Post
    I wonder perhaps more logically "jumbled" if any but language defies logic (superior to logic and allows ambiguity). In the proverb mentioned have is put before eat I think because have as the second most important verb after BE has a very high frequency. It can even replace eat.
    Well, it can't replace eat here. Then we'd have: you can't have your cake and have it.

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    #9

    Re: goose and gander change gender?

    Quote Originally Posted by curmudgeon View Post
    Dr Jamshsid is right, the male always comes before the female- it's not right and it's not fair but that's the way it is (I Think you'll find it's that way in most languages and cultures.) I'm sure Ouisch will disagree but what can I say?
    Gentlemen and ladies, I'd like to question that always.

    b

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    #10

    Re: goose and gander change gender?

    Quote Originally Posted by krakowski View Post
    Hi,

    I am interested in why there seems to be a gender shift in the meaning vs. the expression of the proverb: What's good for the goose is good for the gander." The general meaning is what is good for the male is good for the female. However, the order of the goose (female) and gander (male) is reversed in the proverb?
    Hi all there!

    Sorry to disturb this thread! Is there any one able to give me help in introducing myself in the introduction thread? I'm searching all around in this thread but I can't find a possibility to enter my introduction!

    Sorry again but I'm confused.

    Thanks

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