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Geese Photo

Goose in its origins is one of the oldest words of the Indo-European languages (Crystal), the modern names deriving from the proto-Indo-European root, *ghans-, thence Sanskrit hamsa (feminine hamsii), Persian Ghaz, Latin anser, Greek khén etc.

In the Germanic languages, the root word led to Old English g?s with the plural g?s, German Gans and Old Norse gas. Other modern derivatives are Russian gus and Old Irish géiss; the family name of the cleric Jan Hus is derived from the Czech derivative husa.

The term goose applies to the birds in general, and to a female in particular. The word gander (Old English gandra) is used for a male in particular. Young birds before fledging are called goslings. A group of geese on the ground is called a gaggle; when flying in formation is called a wedge or a skein (see also list of collective nouns for birds).