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Get your goat

Posted by Bob on June 11, 2007

In Reply to: Get your goat posted by ESC on June 11, 2007

: : I've heard the phrase "get your goat" came from American horse racing. Racehorses often had goats as stable/stall mates. It was not unusual for the goat to be kidnapped or removed from the race horse's stall in order to throw the horse into a tizzy, thereby potentially ruining his chance at running a good race. Is this a plausible explanation?

: I've heard that explanation and actually backed it up at one point with a news photo of the above. A racehorse and his/her goat.

Horses do have companions, sometimes goats, sometimes other creatures. But I don't think the explanation is as plausible when you consider the definition. It seems more likely that I irritate you, get your goat, when I get (evoke, bring out, reveal) your goat-like irritability. Goats have a reputation for stubborn ill-tempered behavior, and we each have a little goat in our personality - if somebody pushes the right buttons.