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In the late 16th century when the phrase was first recorded in England, what did the phrase "wild goose chase" refer to?

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In the late 16th century when the phrase was first recorded in England, what did the phrase "wild goose chase" refer to?
posted Feb 6 by Mishthy Mukherjee

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A form of horse race
The horses and riders were required to stay at a fixed distance from another in the same shape formationas that flown by wild geese. A rider scored points by riding so that a horse behind him falls out of formation, and tires. "A Discource of Horsmanshippe", 1593, by the soldier, horse-breeder, poet and writer Gervaise Markham describes the sport. In the 21st century the phrase most usually refers to a search for or pursuit of something unattainable.

answer Feb 7 by Anuradha Tabyal
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