In a Word

adj. of or resembling a goose

In 1936, Polish mathematician Stanislaw Mazur offered a live goose to the first person who could determine whether every Banach space has a Schauder basis. Thirty-seven years later, his Swedish colleague Per Enflo claimed the prize. The ceremony was broadcast throughout Poland. (Thanks, Jeremy.)

In the public gardens at Halifax, there is an eccentric goose that seems to manifest a genuine affection. Whenever a certain old gentleman, whose name we do not know, approaches the pond and calls ‘Bobby,’ the goose will leave the pond and sit beside him, and when he leaves to go home, will follow close at his feet, like a dog, to the gate, and sometimes into the street, when it has to be forcibly put back, to its manifest disgust, for it goes off to its native element twisting its tail with indignation, and giving vent to sundry discordant squeaks. The old gentleman says he has never fed it, or petted it in any way, which makes it more remarkable; but we are told by a frequenter of the gardens that about two or three years ago a man used to come there and feed this identical goose regularly, so we are inclined to think that it is a case of mistaken identity on the part of his gooseship. Anyway, it is an interesting question for ornithologists to solve, whether geese (supposed to be the most stupid of birds) have memory and can experience the sensation of gratitude.

— James Baird McClure, ed., Entertaining Anecdotes From Every Available Source, 1879