Wild Goose Chase

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Wild Goose Chase : Phrases


Fruitless chase of something.



This 16th century England phrase relates to a kind of horse race was invented where a lead horse went off in any direction the rider chose. Other riders had to follow at precise intervals, like wild geese following their leader. At first, the saying implied an erratic course taken by one person and followed by another, and was so used by Shakespeare. The meaning changed over the years to take on the current one of a useless or hopeless quest.

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