phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Got my goat

Posted by Israel Cohen on May 13, 2001

In Reply to: Got my goat posted by R. Berg on April 25, 2001

Helen (on About-Words-L) quoted >> and said > :

>> Why is it that when we really dislike someone we say that
>> we "hate their guts"?
> I have always taken it to mean that we hate every last thing
> about that person, right down to their very innards...
> About the courage/guts metaphor, though, ... I haven't a clue

Random House gives:
gut (gut) n., v. adj.
2. .
b. courage and fortitude; nerve; determination.
11. a. basic or essential: to discuss the gut issues.
b. based on instincts or emotions: a gut reaction.
12. to tell everything; reveal one's innermost feelings.
[bef. 1000; ME gut, guttes (pl.), OE guttas (pl.),...]

Izzy has a clue:

At one time, the kidneys were thought to be the "seat of emotions
and affections". The word "gut" is cognate with KiDney, GoSHeN
(the kidney of Aphrodite), cotton (originally exported from Goshen),
and the yod-heh in the Hebrew word for kidney: kaf-lamed-yod-heh
KiLYaH, literally KLi = organ of + G/K-Dh (treating the partial
velar yod as a full velar, and giving an ancient Dh sound to heh).

Compare the yod-heh in YHVH = G-DH/Cath + FaDHer

So, when you hate someone's guts, you hate their essence/personality,
their emotions/affections, perhaps even their god(s).

Random House again:
6. Informal. to anger, annoy, or frustrate a person.

Hebrew aiyin-zaiyin is a homograph.
3a:Z = goat, goat hair.
3aZ = strong, mighty
3oZ = courage, boldness

So, guts/goats also means "courage, boldness".

Hebrew peh-heh PeH = mouth
The Germanic Z sounds like TS/TZ.
So, Yiddish CHuTZ-Pa = bold + mouth :-!

Israel Cohen