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Origin of the wayzgoose



Those interested in the origin of the wayzgoose may read the learned
articles in the Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. "Wayzgoose" and s.v. the
original form of the word, "Waygoose, and the treatment of the subject
in Joseph Moxon's _Mechanick Exercises on the Whole Art of Printing
(1683-4)_, ed. Herbert Davis and Harry Carter (London: Oxford
University Press, 1958).  According to Moxon, ed. Davis and Carter
(327-28):

     It is also customary for all the Journey-men to make
     every Year new Paper Windows, whether the old will
     serve again or no; Because that day they make them, the
     Master Printer gives them a WAYGOOSE; that is, he makes
     them a good Feast, and not only entertains them at his
     own House, but besides, gives them Money to spend at
     the Ale-house or Tavern at Night; And to this Feast,
     they invite the Correcter, Founder, Smith, Joyner, and
     Inck-maker, who all of them severally (except the
     Correcter in his own Civility) open their Purse-strings
     and add their Benevolence (which Workmen account their
     duty, because they generally chuse these Workmen) to
     the Master Printers: But from the Correcter they expect
     nothing, because the Master Printer chusing him, the
     Workmen can do him no kindness. These WAY-GOOSES, are
     always kept about Bartholomew-tide [August 24]. And till
     the Master-printer have given this WAY-GOOSE, the
     Journey-men do not use to Work by Candle Light.

Davis and Carter gloss the word "waygoose" as follows: "Excellent
articles in the O.E.D. on this word and its variant `Wayzgoose' show
that nothing is known of its derivation or history before Moxon used it,
that the more usual form, `Wayzgoose', is probably due to a mistaken
etymology, and that it was a dinner before it became an outing and a
dinner.

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