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Abraham Lincoln, who shaved his beard into a goatee at various points during his presidency.

Goatee refers to a style of facial hair incorporating hair on a man's chin. The exact nature of the style has varied according to time and culture.


Traditionally, the term goatee was used to refer solely to a beard formed by a tuft of hair on the chin—as on the chin of a goat, hence the term 'goatee'.[1] By the 1990s, the term was also used to refer to the style of facial hair that combines a chin beard and a short mustache;[2] there is debate over whether this style is correctly called a goatee or a Van Dyke.[3]


The style dates back to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, where the god Pan was traditionally depicted with one. When Christianity became the dominant religion and began coopting imagery from pagan myth, Satan was given the likeness of Pan, leading to Satan traditionally being depicted with a goatee in medieval and renaissance art.

The goatee became popular again in the late 19th century, becoming one of the characterizing physical traits of the bohemians in Paris. In the USA, the style became popular around the time of the United States Civil War. Numerous wartime figures from the era wore variations on the goatee, including Abraham Lincoln, who shaved his beard into a traditional goatee at various points during his presidency.

The goatee would not enjoy widespread popularity again until the 1940s, when it became a defining trait of the beatniks in post-World War II US. The style remained popular amongst the counter culture until the 1960s before falling out of favor again. In the 1990s, goatees with incorporated mustaches became fashionable for men across all socioeconomic classes and professions, and have remained popular into the 2010s. Although the majority of Muslim madhabs consider the entire beard to be sunnah, some Shafi'is only regard keeping the goatee as sunnah.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

In the media, goatees have often been used to designate an evil or morally questionable character; the convention has most consistently been applied in media depicting evil twins, with a goatee often being the sole physical difference between the twins.[5] Goatees have also been used to signify a character's transformation from positive or neutral to evil. The use of goatees to designate evil characters has become enough of a trope that researchers from the University of Warwick conducted a study to assess the reasons for its prevalence. The study found that the human brain tends to perceive of downwards-facing triangles as inherently threatening; brains tend to perceive of goatees as making the human face resemble a downwards-facing triangle, causing individuals to subconsciously perceive of those with goatees as inherently sinister or threatening.[5]

In media depicting members of counter-cultures, goatees have also been used to differentiate between average characters and those belonging to some subgroup. Examples include Bob Denver in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, whose goatee serves to identify him as a beatnik; Shaggy Rogers in Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, who is, in part, identified as a hippie by his goatee; and the DC Comics superhero Green Arrow, who was visually redesigned with such a beard in the late 1960s, inspiring writer Dennis O'Neil to reimagine him as a politically active counter-culture hero.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "goatee". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  2. ^ Howard, Rebecca (10 September 1992). "Year of the Goat: Goatee is kicking again". The Globe and Mail. 
  3. ^ Shrieves, Linda (12 November 1993). "Goatees, the new hair apparent". The Buffalo News. 
  4. ^ http://seekershub.org/ans-blog/2010/08/21/does-growing-hair-on-the-chin-meet-the-crteria-of-a-beard-in-the-shafii-school/
  5. ^ a b "Scientists Prove that a Goatee Makes you Look Evil". i09.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goatee — Please support Wikipedia.
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Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 05:59:12 -0800

A music fan who created an Ed Sheeran parody video using his goatee to replicate the singer's famous ginger locks has told of his shock after it went super-viral racking up over 22 million hits in just two days. Shaun Solomon says he spent about four ...


Wed, 07 Jan 2015 09:47:38 -0800

Adam Lind, who finished the 2013 season with 23 homers and a heathy-but-unremarkable ginger beard, has entered the young '14 campaign looking to make a statement both with his bat and with his new Bagwellian-goatee. While it's yet to be seen whether ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Tue, 20 Jan 2015 04:07:58 -0800

The former footballer, 54, has been compared to Guy Fawkes, Jimmy Hill and Colonel Saunders after growing a greying moustache and goatee-beard. Others said the former Everton striker looked as if he should be appearing in The Three Musketeers.

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:37:30 -0800

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Rickety Cricket—the defrocked priest turned disfigured alley dweller played by David Hornsby—is one of the most twisted characters on the show. Seeing the sheer torture this guy goes through all because of the gang ...

Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:30:00 -0800

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Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:48:18 -0800

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Long Beach Press Telegram
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:22:30 -0800

The fourth suspect is described as a light-skinned black man in his early 20s with a possible goatee and curly hair. The shooting occurred around 12:33 p.m. July 4 in North Long Beach, according to police. Officers were dispatched to a call of shots ...
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:23:34 -0800

An Ed Sheeran fan has become an internet sensation after turning his chin into the famous English singer-songwriter. A YouTube video shows a man, with a red goatee and a face drawn on his chin, singing Sheeran's “Thinking Out Loud while upside down.

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