Wordy Wednesday – “Wild-goose chase”

Wordy Wednesday is finally here! The phrase that I have found for you today is one
that is near and dear to my heart. I feel like I definitely use this one a lot,
and I am sure many of you will be able to relate. Our phrase for the week is “wild-goose chase.” The phrase made its first appearance in Romeo and Juliet Act 2, scene 4
by Mercutio. Here is the phrase in its original context:

Mercutio:
Come between us, good Benvolio, my wits faints.
Romeo:
Swits and spurs, swits and spurs, or I’ll cry a match.
Mercutio:
Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done; for
thou hast more of the wild goose in one of thy wits than, I am
sure, I have in my whole five.

The earliest meaning of this phrase referred to a type of horse chase, where a lead horse completed a series of difficult manoeuvres, and all of the horses behind had to follow in the exact same way. Kind of like a much more exciting version of follow the leader! This “chase” was given the term, because the horses were in a formation that was similar to that of flying wild geese. The guys are having an exchange of jokes, and because of the rapid pace the jokes are coming out, Mercutio compares this exchange to a “wild-goose chase.”

However, that meaning seems to have changed over time. What we refer to now as a “wild-goose chase” is a quest that seems to have an impossible or unattainable goal. Something I’m sure we all have experienced at some point in our lives!

I most often find myself on “wild-goose chases” looking for gifts for my brothers. They seem to enjoy video games of that are either super rare or don’t exist anymore! When have you ever found yourself on a “wild goose chase?” Leave a comment and let me know!

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