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

A goatee is 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 U.S., the style became popular around the time of the American 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 U.S. 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.

Famous people who sported goatees[edit]

Famous fictional characters who sport goatees[edit]


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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510292 news items


Thu, 28 Jan 2016 14:30:00 -0800

This version of Oliver will be a drastic change from what is currently seen on “Arrow” as the character will sport the Green Arrow's famous goatee — which Amell previously claimed he would never wear — and is missing an arm, Entertainment Weekly reports.


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Mon, 01 Feb 2016 12:06:41 -0800

... he'll be a future version of Oliver from the year 2046, where he's sporting his iconic look from Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns! For those of you who haven't read the comic, Oliver is missing his left arm and sporting a goatee, so we're in for ...

New York Post

New York Post
Sat, 16 Jan 2016 20:09:43 -0800

Those of us who wear them generally call them goatees, which is technically incorrect, because technically a goatee isn't supposed to include a mustache. That is, after all, what separates a goatee from a Van Dyke. Technically anyway. Though, who are ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 09:56:14 -0800

And Tom Hardy was proving his versatility once again as he filmed scenes for the BBC and FX period drama, Taboo, in Essex on Friday. Donning a black top hat and thick coat, the Oscar-nominated actor, 38, was virtually unrecognisable as he played the ...

The Coloradoan

The Coloradoan
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:58:03 -0800

The man wore a black coat, dark blue jeans, light-colored shoes, gloves, and a black mask that covered his head and mouth — employees told officers they could see his brown eyes, dark eyebrows and part of a goatee. He was described as a light-skinned ...

WBAL Baltimore

WBAL Baltimore
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 19:11:15 -0800

City police said the man tried to rob the People's Bank in the 5400 block of Belair Road on Jan. 15. Police described the man as black, in his late 20s to early 30s, 6 feet tall, and weighing 170 to 200 pounds. He has a bald head and goatee-style beard.

Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 04:05:31 -0800

So a jhola journalist was born in his cartoons as an observer of the world around him. As it turned out, he fashioned it after Sushil, one of his goatee-bearded journalist friends who used to drop by. Somewhere along his career, the jhola journalist ...

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