golden goose

(redirected from a golden goose)
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golden goose

A person, thing, or organization that is or has the potential to earn a lot of money for a long period of time. Taken from a folk tale of a goose that would lay a golden egg once a day, but was killed by its owner because he wanted all of its gold at once. New carbon taxes have proved to be a golden goose for the government, providing a steady and much-needed source of revenue. College athletics, especially football, have always been a golden goose for universities, which earn significant sums from attendance at games and tournaments.
See also: golden, goose

(kill) the golden ˈgoose

(also (kill) the goose that lays the golden ˈegg/ˈeggs) (destroy) something that makes you rich, successful, etc: The government is worried that a new tax might kill the golden goose by scaring away foreign investment.The banks made vast profits from an energy trader that had become the golden goose of Wall Street.This comes from an ancient Greek story about a farmer who had a goose that laid golden eggs. The farmer thought that if he killed the goose he could get all the eggs inside. However, by killing the goose, he lost everything.
See also: golden, goose
References in periodicals archive ?
When kind-hearted, generous Peter is given a golden goose by an old woman, funny things happen when anyone tries to touch the goose.
The energy sector is a golden goose, if only we had a Government that understood that.
In today's tale, Hans is sent to chop wood when he meets an old man who tells him of a tree that contains a special prize - inside there is a golden goose.