From “The Word”, a keepsake for guests at the Colonial Wayzgoose in Concord, Massachusetts, written and printed at the Vernal Equinox 1985 by D L and Carol Kent of Erespin Press.
Courtesy of David L Kent:
“As described by Moxon in 1683, a ‘way-goose’ is an entertainment given by a master printer to his workmen about Bartholomewtide (24th August), marking the beginning of the season of working by candlelight. It later came to mean an annual festivity held in summer by the employees of a
printing establishment, consisting of a dinner and usually an excursion into the country.
”But why the word ‘way-goose’? Nathaniel Bailey’s Dictionary (5th edition, 1731) defines ‘wayz’ as a bundle of straw, and ‘wayzgoose’ as a stubble-goose, an entertainment given to journeymen at the beginning of winter. Bailey is not mistaken, for the word ‘wase’ appears as early as 1375 with the meaning of a wisp or bundle of straw or reeds. So a Wayzgoose is a Stubble-Goose; and why a Stubble-Goose?
“In 1655 Christopher Bennet issued an enlarged edition of Healths
Improvement: or, Rules comprizing and discovering the nature, method, and manner of preparing all sorts of food used in this nation... Written
by that ever famous Thomas Muffett. And little Mr Muffett (1553-1604) there recorded the opinion, ‘A young stuble goose feeding itself fat in wheaten fields, is the best of all.’ That the printer of this work, one Thomas Newcomb, seized the image and the occasion to name what is known yet today as the Wayzgoose we have to conjecture.
”To those to strenuously resist such homely etymology, we shall have
to say that yes, it is possible that the word ‘Wayzgoose’ derives from
the Latin ‘res cuius’, translated roughly ‘their thing’. But, to each as he may prefer.”