kill the goose that lays the golden egg

kill the goose that lays the golden egg

Meaning

  • to destroy something that is profitable to you mostly because of greed.
  • to destroy the one thing that makes a lot of money for you.
  • to destroy a source of income or livelihood through a short-sighted action.

Example Sentences

  1. By selling off his business, Alex killed the goose that lays the golden egg.
  2. A lot of people kill the goose that lays the golden egg in their pursuit of other business endeavours they feel are more profitable.
  3. His parents think that giving up football for music will be akin to killing the goose that lays the golden egg.
  4. No one should kill the goose that lays the golden egg else they might be stuck in poverty.

Origin

This idiom originates from one of Aesop’s fables in which a farmer and his wife had a goose that laid one golden egg every day. The couple decided to butcher the goose as they thought its insides must be made of gold as well and then they can have all the golden eggs it held within. On killing the goose, they found that the bird was just the same as every other goose on the inside. So the couple lost their means of livelihood.

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