Wild Goose Chase
Our current usage of the phrase "wild goose chase" refers to attempting a task that has little to no chance of success.

Back in the time of Shakespeare, this phrase referred to a type of horse racing where a lead horse was set off and at subsequent intervals other horses were released to follow the lead horse as accurately as possible. Their formation was thought to mimic that of a flock of wild geese flying. Shakespeare has the first known written usage of this phrase when he writes in Romeo & Juliet: "Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done..." By the 19th century, the meaning relating to this type of horse racing was lost and the term grew to mean what we now associate with it. In 1811, Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue defines this phrase as: "A tedious uncertain pursuit, like the following a flock of wild geese, who are remarkably shy."

Use Example - Mary finally decided that trying to find the exact shade of purple shoes to match her dress was a wild goose chase.

Source Tags : Sports  Shakespeare     Concept Tags : Pointless   Foolish