Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Word of the Day - "Strasbourg-goosed"


Well, I don't really know if such a hyphenated compound word constitutes a single word, but since it's late I'll just call it a "term" and deem terms eligible for recognition here in this category.
Once again we are exploring words provided by Dick Cavett's blog. I'm not sure why I read Dick's blog. It's only good about half the time, which I know isn't a bad average. But, he writes with an intimacy and a modest confidence that he's being entertaining, in the way that friends are confident that their friends will listen to each other's jokes and stories with sympathetic ears.
But back to our word of the day. "Strasbourg-goosed." Dick has used this reference twice in his blog, to much criticism the first time around, when he merely referred to a Strasbourg goose to describe the ubiquitous fatness of our general public. Well, I sort of agree with him, but the fatties sure got mad.

Toulouse Goose

This past week, Dick used the phrase as a verb for the endless force feeding of Presidential election campaign news upon the reading public. Then, as he is wont, he abruptly changed the subject to old man reminiscences of his childhood.

But I, like Dick, digress . . .

Strasbourg is a small city in France (sometimes Germany) on the German border. It's known for it's universities, air pollution, and fois gras, which is French for "fat liver" of a goose or (less desirably) a duck. Not to be confused with Mardi gras, which means "fat Tuesday."

So, anyway, the real point is that to get the goose liver to be fat, and therefore suitable for gourmet consumption as fois gras, the goose is force-fed by sticking a tube down it's throat and pumping in corn meal. Some countries find this practice gross and forbid it. Fois gras was very popular in ancient Egypt and, later, Rome. But it fell out of use during the middle ages, except in Strasbourg, where the locals kept the custom alive. And now it is more popular than ever!

Fois Gras

So, all that to tell you that to be "Strasbourg-goosed" is to be force-fed, metaphorically we hope.


Anonymous said...


I begin on internet with a directory

Anonymous said...

thank you very much.
I was translating Little Men novel and this term was mention in ch2 so I goggle it. I fond nothing but her in your blog

I'm so thankful.