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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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1246 news items

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:05:22 -0700

He was also wearing a white baseball style cap, dark pants, sunglasses and sneakers. Witnesses say the suspect also wore a painted on 5 o'clock shadow and a fake mustache and goatee. Officials say he drove away in a black four-door Honda sedan with ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Fri, 04 Apr 2014 03:40:18 -0700

Neil, who is bald and has a goatee, said he was astonished authorities had failed to pick up on the mistake even though his girlfriend, also 50, has long, blonde hair. Neil Clulow (front) pictured with his friends in Spain. He realised the mistake when ...

Us Magazine

Us Magazine
Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:30:00 -0700

John Travolta Makes First Official Appearance After Oscars Flub With Weird Goatee. Celebrity Beauty Apr. 4, 2014 AT 6:30PM By Esther Lee · Tweet. John Travolta and Kelly Preston attend the Silver Springs International Film Festival on April 3, 2014 in ...

Men's Journal

Men's Journal
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 15:18:45 -0700

Goatees can skew '90s revivalist, but they've been on the comeback trail over the past few years as an alternative to sporting a full beard. "I always advise men to grow in more than just the goatee area to start with," says Paco O'Keefe from The ...
Vincennes Sun Commercial
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 21:07:30 -0700

GREENCASTLE — The Vincennes University men's track team captured five events and won the DePauw Invitational, while TaPring Goatee set a women's meet record in the Trailblazers first outdoor meet of the season Saturday. The Trailblazers ran past the ...


Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:44:32 -0700

Sieht nicht so aus, denn die Härchen stehen ordentlich gestutzt in Reih und Glied! Doch anstatt es rund um den ganzen Unterkiefer sprießen zu lassen, entschied sich der 68-Jährige für einen stylischen und angesagten Goatee, wie ihn auch die Jungspunde ...
WESH Orlando
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:14:13 -0700

She described him as in his 30s with a goatee, a very short haircut and tattoos on his right arm. He was wearing a black T-shirt and baggie blue jeans. According to authorities, the girl was able to fight off the man and run to her house and tell her ...
First Coast News
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:05:14 -0700

The suspect is described in the report as a black male in his early to mid-20s with a goatee and was wearing a lighter colored hooded jacket, a black T-shirt with a graphic on the front, blue jeans and a dark colored baseball cap with a white front ...

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