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Abraham Lincoln, who shaved his beard into a goatee in the last months of his presidency.

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


Until the late 20th century, 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 word had become an umbrella term used to refer to any facial hair style incorporating hair on the chin but not the cheeks; [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.

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.[4] 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.[4]

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 re-imagine 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. ^ 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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658319 news items

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 13:14:38 -0700

The AMC series' leading actor was confronted with a Walter White impersonator on Thursday night, who went to the trouble of growing a goatee and purchasing some very similar glasses to get noticed. It certainly seemed to stop Bryan in his tracks ...

The Sunshine Coast Daily

The Sunshine Coast Daily
Mon, 28 Sep 2015 19:22:07 -0700

That was the question posed to an underground truck driver recently by his employer and which cost him his job when he decided to keep the goatee and moustache he had worn since the age of 19. The recent case of Felton v BHP Billiton Pty Ltd (2015) ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Fri, 18 Sep 2015 12:41:20 -0700

He's a pop star that can be easily identified by his chiseled jawline and smooth shave. Yet, singer Nick Jonas was seen with a much shaggier appearance on the New Orleans set of Scream Queens on Thursday, donning a thick wig and bushy goatee to get ...

Western Daily Press

Western Daily Press
Mon, 14 Sep 2015 04:26:15 -0700

Police are trying to trace a man with a goatee beard after another man has been seriously assaulted in Yeovil. A man in his 50s sustained a significant foot injury following the incident which happened at around 9pm on Sunday on St. Michaels Road ...

Dallas Morning News

Dallas Morning News
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 21:07:30 -0700

Goatee & Beards are for Moose Lip Muslims,” a Marine buddy wrote on Jones' re-election page last month, ribbing the constable about his new facial hair. “When the shooting starts one needs to be quickly identifiable as an American Fighting man!”.
Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:07:30 -0700

At Hazeltine, Clarke had a Sean Connery look going. He wore a gray, double-breasted suit with a white handkerchief. He had a perfectly trimmed goatee and graying hair, more hair than Connery had on his best day. Clarke is quick to smile and talks rapidly.


Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:12:10 -0700

The vehicle's driver is described as a balding white man in his 30s or 40s with a thin build and a goatee. Officials say this is the third incident involving a vehicle that fits this description in the last several days. Anyone who sees the vehicle is ...


Livingston Daily
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:48:45 -0700

The man was described as a white male, about 30 to 40 years old with balding brown hair and a goatee. The information was reported to the Hartland Consolidated Schools district. The investigation remains open and anyone with any information should ...

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