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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—like 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 Vandyke.[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.[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. ^ "Scientists Prove that a Goatee Makes you Look Evil". i09.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "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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1959 news items

Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:36:21 -0700

The Salt Lake City Police Department is asking for the public's help identifying a suspect accused of robbing the University Federal Credit Union Tuesday afternoon. Officials said a suspect wearing a wig and fake goatee flashed a weapon and demanded ...
The Huntsville Times - al.com
Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:48:45 -0700

South Alabama head coach Joey Jones sports his goatee that he has worn since the week of the Idaho game. He said as long as his Jaguars keep winning -- they have won their past two games -- he's going to keep the goatee. (Photo courtesy of South ...
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Sat, 11 Oct 2014 07:15:00 -0700

“Multus sanguis fluit” means little to anyone who did not endure the Cambridge Latin course in high school, but the expression captures the tenor of oral arguments at the Supreme Court the other day. In the Latin course, “much blood flows” after a ...


Fri, 10 Oct 2014 09:41:15 -0700

New York Post columnist Cindy Adams is not done talking about NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd's goatee, which she previously called “hideous.” We picked up her past remark, which was buried at the bottom of one of her columns, and we noted that ...

Northwest Georgia News

Northwest Georgia News
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:45:00 -0700

Fundraisers such as the annual goatee contest, help fund this very important program. The goatee contest will run from October through December 31, 2014. The Coosa Valley Fraternal Order of Police would like to thank Sheriff Tim Burkhalter, Chief ...
Salt Lake Tribune
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:41:13 -0700

Salt Lake City police Detective Veronica Montoya says that the suspect — a 5-foot-8 Asian male in his late-20s or early-30s — was wearing a fake wig and bogus goatee, along with a blue hooded sweatshirt, black ski cap and glasses, when he entered the ...
WRGA Rome's Newstalk
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:37:30 -0700

The Coosa Valley Fraternal Order of Police is excited to announce the annual goatee contest fundraiser. The Floyd County Sheriff's Office, Rome Police Department, and the Floyd County Police Department are joining forces in this fun and “hair raising” ...
WBAL Baltimore
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:51:56 -0700

One of the men is described as black, about 6 feet 4 inches tall, with multiple tattoos and a goatee. He was last seen wearing a red-and-white striped shirt and a red ball cap, with a red bandanna tied around his boots. The other man is described as ...

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