swan

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all (one's) geese are swans

One is overexaggerating and not in touch with reality. Geese and swans are quite different, so to think they are the same is a stretch of the truth. I can't listen to another one of Tiffany's stories that cast her as the adored heroine. All her geese are swans if she thinks everyone at work likes her!
See also: all, geese, swan

turn geese into swans

To embellish or exaggerate the merits, skills, or successes of someone or something. My father was such a genuinely affable and generous man, and he had a knack for turning geese into swans—he made you feel like the most special, talented person in the world just by talking about you.
See also: geese, swan, turn

swan song

A final performance, product, or accomplishment before someone or something stops creating work or products, as due to death, retirement, closure, etc. From the ancient belief that swans issue a beautiful song-like sound just before they die. Reaching, and often surpassing, the dizzying heights of her first novel, this is a remarkable swan song for the accomplished author. Their latest album, the swan song of the legendary rock group, is unfortunately not one of their best.
See also: song, swan

*graceful as a swan

very graceful. (*Also: as ∼.) The boat glided out onto the lake as graceful as a swan. Jane is graceful as a swan.
See also: swan

I swan!

Rur. What a surprise! Well, I swan! I didn't expect to see you here! Tom: I hear Charlie just won a thousand dollars! Jane: I swan!

swan song

Fig. the last work or performance of a playwright, musician, actor, etc., before death or retirement. His portrayal of Lear was the actor's swan song. We didn't know that her performance last night was the singer's swan song.
See also: song, swan

swan song

A final accomplishment or performance, one's last work. For example, I'm resigning tomorrow; this project was my swan song. This term alludes to the old belief that swans normally are mute but burst into beautiful song moments before they die. Although the idea is much older, the term was first recorded in English only in 1890.
See also: song, swan

a swan song

A swan song is the last performance or piece of work that someone does in their career. He had made up his mind that this show was going to be his swan song. Note: This expression developed from a belief that a dying swan sings.
See also: song, swan

all someone's geese are swans

someone habitually exaggerates the merits of undistinguished people or things.
The goose is proverbially contrasted with the swan as being the clumsier, less elegant, and less distinguished bird; compare with turn geese into swans below.
See also: all, geese, swan

turn geese into swans

exaggerate the merits of people.
See also: geese, swan, turn

swan song

Last effort. An ancient belief held that swans, who are usually silent, burst into beautiful song with their dying breaths. As a phrase, “swan song” connotes a last burst of energy before expiring.
See also: song, swan
References in periodicals archive ?
Founded in 1880, the company united three powerful shipbuilding families - Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson.
Every year, the Queen participates in an event called the Swan Upping 6 which takes place in July 6 where juvenile swans are counted and checked for illness.
SHREWSBURY -- An injured swan that was taken to the Cummings School for Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton has a good prognosis.
The swan was lethargic and he could see blood on the bird.
The swans held her spellbound when they were losing altitude.
The bird was later transferred to Bishops Wood Swan Rescue where it is continuing to recover and is now set to be released back into the wild.
We've been warned that the swans will be a bit feisty at this time of year, but they go for me all year round.
Walkers spotted the female swan with its head in the water and surrounded by smashed egg shells on Saturday morning.
Bewick's swans are the smallest swan found in the UK, with Whooper swans similar in shape but larger.
It was similar in some respects to Saent-Saens' musical portrait of a swan in Carnival of the Animals, he said.
the swan events culminate in an evening of classical music as the University of Southern Mississippi salutes the "Festival of Swans" with a performance by world-renowned violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra on the USM campus in Bennett Auditorium.
Mr Martin said he was unimpressed with the way police handled attacks on swans.
The swans which gather at the water's edge in the Claddagh are renowned for their tameness and are fed daily by passers-by.
Welch handled the flocking of the swans beautifully.