Gooseberry Ribes (currant family) Card by Julian Williams
There are people who believe that the name Gooseberry comes from an ancient association between the plant and geese, however none has yet been discovered. Another explanation is that the name is a corruption of the Dutch word Kruisbes. The indigenous plants had been domesticated and developed in Holland into the large modern fruiting bushes.
At one time Chaperones were referred to as â€œgooseberry pickersâ€ because they were expected to make themselves scarce picking gooseberries to allow their charges space for quiet intimate chats, even today a single unwanted person who tags along beside a couple is said to be playing Gooseberry.
Another old saying is that â€œbabies are born under a gooseberry bushâ€. This innocent sounding explanation was used by Victorians for subduing unwanted questions from inquiring children; it was a tongue-in-cheek joke between the adults who knew that in Victorian slang “gooseberry bush” had another meaning.