The word goose (plural: geese) is the English name for a considerable number of birds, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes swans, most of which are larger than true geese, and ducks, which are smaller.
A number of other waterbirds, mostly related to the shelducks, have "goose" as part of their name.
The word Goose is a direct descendant of Proto-Indo-European root, *ghans-. In Germanic languages, the root gave Old English gōs with the plural gēs and gandra (becoming Modern English goose, geese, and gander, respectively), New High German Gans, Gänse, and Ganter and Old Norse gās. This term also gave Lithuanian žąsìs, Irish gé (swan, from Old Irish géiss), Latin anser, Greek chēn, Albanian gatë (heron), Sanskrit hamsá, Avestan zāō, Polish gęś, Russian гусь.
The term goose applies to the female in particular. The word gander 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 geese fly in formation they are called a wedge or a skein
Geese are commonly described as silly, as in the proverb that "it is a silly goose that comes to the fox's sermon"