Posted by Word Camel on April 17, 2002
In Reply to: Goat roping posted by R. Berg on April 17, 2002
: : : I recently heard several times the phrase "this is a goat rope" - The context of the phrase meant a big screw-up or huge mistake. Nobody seemed to know where this phrase came from etc. It was used in a military field setting int eh same sentence as FUBAR etc., but I'm not sure if it is military in origin - Anyone know?
: : This is US military slang meaning a chaotic or out-of-control situation ... similar to "cluster f*ck" or "dog f*ck"/"pooch screw" or "SNAFU". The basic form is "goat f*ck" in the sense of "a goat-f*cking event", thence "goat rape" and the euphemistic "goat rope". The participants in a "goat f*ck" are pictured as engaged in useless pointless activities (such as copulation with animals) rather than in purposeful activity, I suppose.
: My husband isn't familiar with "goat rope," but he says that in the U.S. Navy he heard "goat roping," meaning an insignificant event, as in "I wouldn't wear that to a goat roping."
I don't know if it's connected, but "goat roper" was a term of abuse used in Ft.Worth, Texas when I was growing up. It was used to describe someone who dressed like a cowboy, but was essentially a suburban person who wouldn't know one end of a horse from another - rather like Garth Brooks.