Shiver; Goose Flesh or Chicken Skin?

In Madison, we have flocks of wild Canadian geese around our lakes and many people keep tame backyard chickens. Of those two birds, I wonder why we talk about goose pimples when we’re cold, in English. How common were geese in England when that phrase was invented? I guess for centuries a Christmas goose was traditional for many people in the UK. In modern times, that has changed. Now only 200,000 geese are sold there in December, and 10 million turkeys!

I believe I can say truthfully that I have never eaten goose. I’ve eaten plenty of turkey and chicken. Thanks to an uncle who hunted, I’ve enjoyed pheasant. A friend cooked me duck once. But no geese. Have you eaten goose?

I mention this, because the phrase for a chill when the hairs stand on end in Spanish is, “piel de gallina,” chicken skin. When I first heard it, I laughed because it was a different bird. Then, when I thought about it, it actually made more sense in my experience. Now, I may begin to say:

“Oh, I got chicken bumps when she told that spooky ghost story.”

Front Yard Rooster Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

Actually, even turkey bumps would make more sense to me than goose! What do you think?

Gracias for visiting Fake Flamenco. ¡Olé! –Rebecca

See out Debbie and Friends’ great pics at Six Word Saturday.

#6WS #SixWordSaturday

Rebecca Cuningham

28 thoughts on “Shiver; Goose Flesh or Chicken Skin?

  1. I’m not sure it matters which form you use. If something around you has put you in that state be it story or situation, pay attention to it and protect yourself.

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  2. Though I’m not a big meat eater, goose is the meat I like best, for its rich flavour We have it sometimes at Christmas (why would anyone choose to eat tasteless old turkey?) but it’s too large unless you have plenty of people round the table. Geese WERE common in England back in the day. They would often be walked to market over long distances – Norfolk to London is about 100 miles for instance. To protect their feet, they would be ‘shod’ by dipping their feet in tar, then sand. During the 18th century, some 150,000 – 200,000 birds a year made this one-way journey, in groups of about 300 – 1,000. It took about three months, so the birds didn’t lose too much condition, and they would feed in the stubble of the newly harvested fields on the way. Sorry – you never asked for a history lesson, but I always find this marketing story fascinating. Thinking about it gives me goosebumps 😉

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  3. In the early 1980s in Georgetown, Guyana, we had an upstairs neighbor who reared geese in the backyard. They were usually secured behind a chicken fence. Boy, did I get goose bumps the day I came home from work and the geese came running towards me with their wings outstretched!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve had goose once in Kars, Turkey, which is famous with its geese. The most famous goose restaurant in the city, Kaz Evi, which means Goose House, is owned and operated by a woman.

    Kars is also famous for its honey and long and cold winters, not unlike Madison.

    Here are some links about her restaurant:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a goose fan like Margaret. And I think that smaller families for Christmas lunch is one of th reasons it’s not so popular these days.
    It’s still popular here to roast your potatoes own goose fat.
    And I had the most delicious roast goose in Hong Kong. If you’re there be sure to visit Kam’s Roast goose. But get there early as the queue is long and they run out of goose!

    Liked by 1 person

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