Entries linking to merganser
1630s, "to plunge or sink in" (to something), a sense now obsolete, from Latin mergere "to dip, dip in, immerse, plunge," probably rhotacized from *mezgo, from PIE *mezgo- "to dip, to sink, to wash, to plunge" (source also of Sanskrit majjanti "to sink, dive under," Lithuanian mazgoju, mazgoti, Latvian mazgat "to wash").
Intransitive meaning "sink or disappear into something else, be swallowed up, lose identity" is from 1726, in the specific legal sense of "absorb an estate, contract, etc. into another." Transitive sense of "cause to be absorbed or to disappear in something else" is from 1728. Related: Merged; merging. As a noun, from 1805.
"a large waterfowl proverbially noted, I know not why, for foolishness" [Johnson], Old English gos "a goose," from Proto-Germanic *gans- "goose" (source also of Old Frisian gos, Old Norse gas, Old High German gans, German Gans "goose"), from PIE *ghans- (source also of Sanskrit hamsah (masc.), hansi (fem.), "goose, swan;" Greek khen; Latin anser; Polish gęś "goose;" Lithuanian žąsis "goose;" Old Irish geiss "swan"), probably imitative of its honking.
Geese are technically distinguished from swans and from ducks by the combination of feathered lores, reticulate tarsi, stout bill high at the base, and simple hind toe. [Century Dictionary]
Spanish ganso "goose" is from a Germanic source. Loss of "n" sound before "s" is normal in English (compare tooth). Plural form geese is an example of i-mutation. Meaning "simpleton, silly or foolish person" is from early 15c. To cook (one's) goose is attested by 1845, of unknown origin; attempts to connect it to Swedish history and Greek fables are unconvincing. Goose-egg "zero" is attested by 1866 in baseball slang, from being large and round. The goose that lays golden eggs (15c.) is from Aesop.