Posted by ESC on April 18, 2002
In Reply to: Goat Roper posted by masakim 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***" or "dog f***"/"pooch screw" or "SNAFU". The basic form is "goat f***" in the sense of "a goat-f****** event", thence "goat rape" and the euphemistic "goat rope". The participants in a "goat f***" 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.
: goat-roper n by 1960s A rustic; hick; = ****KICKER [A farmer
or other rural person].
: From _Dictionary of American Slang, Third Edition_ by Robert L. Chapman.
GOAT F**K - noun. Military. "a fiasco; mess. -usu. considered vulgar. Also (euphemism) goat screw, goat rope. 1971. T. Mayer 'Weary Falcon' 15: 'What a goatf**k." GOAT-ROPER - noun. West "an unsophisticated rustic." Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G" by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994.
I was hoping to get more information
from this source but it just had "goat":
GOAT -- "A horse which jumped about with arched back and stiffened knees at a pretense of bucking was said to 'crow-hop.' 'Cat-back' and 'goat' were also terms for half-hearted pitching." From "Cowboy Lingo: A Dictionary of the Slack-Jaw Words and Whangdoodle Ways of the American West" by Ramon F. Adams (Houghton Mifflin, New York, 2000. Copyright 1936).