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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.

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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36823 news items


Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:30:00 -0800

Best-selling author Eoin Colfer said he is "very happy" to be to penning a new Iron Man novel and told TEN he might dye his goatee black to get into character. Colfer, who took home an award alongside illustrator Oliver Jeffers for Children's book ...


Tue, 24 Nov 2015 08:14:52 -0800

Sadly, the past few years have seen a steady stream of suggestions that we're unlikely to ever actually see Stephen 'Green Arrow' Amell don the iconic facial hair - often referred to as a goatee, but in fact a 'Van Dyke' - in Arrow any time soon ...


Sun, 22 Nov 2015 10:07:50 -0800

“There are no plans for the goatee to happen on Arrow,” said Amell. “I love to grow them. Once we're done with the island flashbacks. I tell you what. Once we're done with the island flashbacks if I'm not working over hiatus, I'll grow a horrible goatee.


Mon, 23 Nov 2015 15:21:59 -0800

Even within our ComicBook.com office, there's some debate as to whether we're seeing what we think we're seeing...but certainly, given recent comments from Amell that suggested we might see the goatee on Legends of Tomorrow, it wouldn't be a surprise.


Thu, 19 Nov 2015 17:31:18 -0800

Can you expect even more Quicksilver in X-Men: Apocalypse? Which Glee star is joining Supergirl? Will Stephen Amell finally have a goatee as Arrow? Can Paul Bettany and Anthony Mackie convince you whether Vision or Falcon is the better Avenger?
Thu, 29 Oct 2015 07:01:36 -0700

For quite some time now, Mississippi rapper David Banner has garnered attention due to his signature, gray goatee. And during a newly-released interview with DJ Smallz Eyes, the Southern wordsmith was asked if there is any significance behind his beard.

PR Newswire (press release)

PR Newswire (press release)
Mon, 02 Nov 2015 05:07:30 -0800

SEATTLE, Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- This month, the Harlem Globetrotters are partnering with the Christian humanitarian agency World Vision to grow a #GOATee for a Good Cause, raising awareness about how goats and other livestock gifts are helping ...


Fri, 20 Nov 2015 09:03:45 -0800

This is after denying any possibility of him growing a goatee for the role previously and here was his exact words: "100% no. Never. Our show could go 14 seasons and a goatee will never appear. Hope that clears things up. Forever," he wrote in his ...

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