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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. 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 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. ^ 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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25954 news items

Esquire.com (blog)

Esquire.com (blog)
Wed, 05 Aug 2015 06:45:48 -0700

The goatee, lest we forget, was once the facial hair à la mode. Now, in Gordo, it faces its nadir. The neat 'stache-and-chin whisker combo that lent heroes as diverse as Brad Pitt, Kurt Cobain, and Roberto Baggio a certain insouciant panache in the ...

Ohio County Monitor

Ohio County Monitor
Sun, 23 Aug 2015 18:07:30 -0700

BettySueLewisBrownGoatee Betty Sue Lewis Brown Goatee, 76, of Centertown, passed away Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. She was born May 26, 1939, in Livia, Ky., to the late Robert and Elizabeth Earle Mackey Lewis.

The Daily Star

The Daily Star
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 11:11:15 -0700

Shake that Goatee. The internet is not only filled with cats. Not here in Bangladesh, at least. Goats roam around as freely and get their views published, their voices heard and jokes laughed at. The best part: you can't tell a goat what kind of jokes ...

Ledger Gazette

Ledger Gazette
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 06:41:15 -0700

While Arrow has steadily built a reliable audience over its first three seasons, every show that heads into a fourth year needs a bit of a shake up. Unfortunately, this might not be case at all. “100 percent no. Never”. Even though Amell has no plans ...


Wed, 02 Sep 2015 05:22:30 -0700

As they close in on their 50s, some men do stupid things. Grow a goatee. Buy a car that costs more than their first house. Sign up on Ashley Madison. (Yeah – and how'd that work out for you?) Bill Bryson decided to hike the Appalachian Trail. As his ...
First Coast News
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:11:15 -0700

... a DVD player and a small handgun, according to the Sheriff's Office. The suspect is described as 5-foot-10 man with a short goatee who may have dreadlocks under a cap, deputies said. If you recognize him, please call the Sheriff's Office at (386 ...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 23:00:00 -0700

... was committed hours after Gibson was released from the George Bailey Detention Facililty on unrelated charges, prosecutors said. Authorities gave him the "Bearded Bandit" moniker because he had a full beard during the first heist and a goatee ...

Daily Caller

Daily Caller
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 06:18:45 -0700

Talks have been in the works for quite awhile. A quick style question: Will he keep the goatee look or will the powers that encourage him to opt for a more clean cut look? See the memo below. From: Lex Haris Date: Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 7:05 AM

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