In Rabelais' Gargantua, in Chapter 13, we find a discussion on the best means to wipe one's bum.
You can find Urquhart's translation here. I am specifically interested in the conclusion:
But, to conclude, I say and maintain, that of all torcheculs, arsewisps, bumfodders, tail-napkins, bunghole cleansers, and wipe-breeches, there is none in the world comparable to the neck of a goose, that is well downed, if you hold her head betwixt your legs
In Rabelais' original, this is:
Mais, concluent, je dys et mantiens qu’il n’y a tel torchecul que d’un oyzon bien dumeté, pourveu qu’on luy tienne la teste entre les jambes
(emphasis mine -- source)
Which in contemporary French is typically rendered as "oisillon bien duveté" i.e.,:
- "oisillon" — a baby bird, a fledgling
- "bien duveté" — fluffy, well downed
Why did Urquhart pick "goose", and even more specifically, "neck of a goose"?