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

*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 ?
The swans had been working into the wind, coming from behind the blind to land amid dozens of decoys in front.
The cost of the swan's treatment which Bishops Wood Swan Rescue Centre has footed is around PS500.
Swans do not have teeth, but they can hiss and give a nasty peck | Swans CAN break your arm.
In this production, the women have less to do but we are featured more - we stick out whereas the male swans all look alike.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "The RSPCA received several calls about this dead swan on Saturday and an animal welfare officer attended.
Galway Swan Rescue spokeswoman Suzanne Divilly said: "We are absolutely appalled.
Anyone with information on what is turning the swans pink is asked to contact the university on 021 4903000.
Fish and Wildlife Service published a list of non-native bird species, exempting mute swans from coverage under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).
Tundra swans spend the night on coastal lakes, such as North Carolina's Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge.
Through the challenging 1980s and '90s, towards the new millennium, Swans went through different incarnations.
It could be open season for the Queen of England's swans.
RISING numbers of swans are being killed or suffering horrific injuries from "senseless shootings" with air guns, the Queen's swan marker has revealed.
We don't know exactly why it was acting disoriented, but generally, adult swans behave that way if they have interacted with a vehicle in some way,'' said Mrs.
As native wild birds, swans are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and it is an offence to intentionally injure, take or kill a wild swan.
Matthew Bourne, the gay English choreographer whose Swan Lake put hairy-chested swans in every living room in America, has returned to these shores with a dazzling modern-dress version of another ballet classic, Cinderella, and if the results are somewhat less fleshy and Freudian than its notorious predecessor, this latest effusion from Bourne's superb company, Adventures in Motion Pictures, is no less unorthodox and provocative.