wouldn't say boo to a goose


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wouldn't say boo to a goose

Is particularly shy, nervous, or diffident. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. My brother is a very sweet, warm-hearted man who wouldn't say boo to a goose. How can you suspect that he committed this crime?
See also: boo, goose, say

wouldn't say boo to a goose

BRITISH, INFORMAL
If you say that someone wouldn't say boo to a goose, you mean that they are very quiet, shy, and nervous. `If you remember, at college I wouldn't say boo to a goose.' — `That's right, you were very quiet.' She recalled a shy, overweight girl who wouldn't say boo to a goose
See also: boo, goose, say

wouldn't say boo to a goose

(of a person) very shy or reticent.
1948 P. G. Wodehouse Uncle Dynamite She looks on you as a…poor, spineless sheep who can't say boo to a goose.
See also: boo, goose, say

he, she, etc. wouldn’t say ˌboo to a ˈgoose

(informal) somebody is very shy and afraid of upsetting or annoying people: How could he ever succeed in politics? He wouldn’t say boo to a goose.
People shout Boo! when they want to surprise or frighten somebody.
See also: boo, goose, say
References in periodicals archive ?
'We sent a girl from our company on the course who was really quite shy and wouldn't say boo to a goose.
I first came across him when he was the goalkeeping coach who wouldn't say boo to a goose. Now he's carved a niche for himself in a season where lesser men would have run away screaming.
He's very quiet and wouldn't say boo to a goose. I'm afraid that irritates me and I'm ashamed to say I've become increasingly verbally abusive towards him when I'm angry.
Another pal, Derek Hilson, 23, said: "He was a very quiet lad who wouldn't say boo to a goose."
NUNEATON'S George Eliot wasn't a prim miss who wouldn't say boo to a goose. Mary Anne Evans was a bit of a rebel who shocked Victorian society with her lifestyle and her relationships.
McIlroy said: "Jim Harvey is a very placid lad and wouldn't say boo to a goose, and that was very harsh as well.
It's a much safer bet that Els does not mention Weekley's name to his South African chum - he wouldn't say Boo to a Goose.
The friend said: "John wouldn't say boo to a goose. He knew there was nothing he could do to get rid of these people."
She wouldn't say boo to a goose. The rest wouldn't say no to one.
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