the untold goose we have done ourselves

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Senior Member
Bertie Wooster: Ah, Jeeves, how was the little chap this morning?

Reginald Jeeves: Distressingly willful, sir.

Bertie Wooster: Ah well, we must look on the bright side, Jeeves. We must think of the untold goose we have done ourselves by nannying the beast until Aunt Agatha has finished her inspection of the continent.
"The little chap" and "the beast" they are talking about is aunt Agatha's dog. So what is "the untold goose" and why is it on the bright side?
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    My first thought is that "goose" is a typographical error for "good."

    Otherwise, I can only guess that Wooster means they have made themselves look silly.


    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    In England to say something like "I really cooked my goose there" means that one has betrayed ones stupidity or done something silly. It resembles "I put my foot in it". Wooster and Jeeves have to contemplate their ineptitude in pandering to the beast thus ensuring that Aunt Agatha will continue to stay.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    The only example I've found of "goose"* in an actual Bertie Wooster book, as opposed to a TV episode, is in Chapter 14 of Right Ho, Jeeves.

    Bertie has just confirmed with Angela that she has had an argument with her fiancé, Tuppy Glossop, and that as a result "wedding bells are not going to ring out". He says to her:
    "Well, if you want my opinion, I think that's a bit of goose for you, Angela, old girl. I think you're extremely well out of it. It's a mystery to me how you stood this Glossop so long. [...] I'd pity the girl who was linked for life to a bargee like Tuppy Glossop."
    In that context, it clearly means something like "good fortune" or "good news", or perhaps :thumbsup:.

    I rather suspect it has a similar approbatory meaning in the TV episode, as Bertie prefaces his "goose" comment with "We must look on the bright side". In other words, I suspect "we've done ourselves goose" should be taken to mean "we've earned ourselves some kudos with Aunt Agatha" or "We've got ourselves into Aunt Agatha's good books".

    Don't even think of using it in this sense, John_Doe. You'll mystify everyone:D.


    *leaving aside "gooseberry", "say bo[o] to a goose" and the like
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    Senior Member
    English - England
    It's worth noting that the slang and figures of speech in these novels are those of upper class people and their servants in the first half of the 20th century. You won't meet many people who speak this way today!
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