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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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2614 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:08:52 -0700

Gary Lineker seems to have learned nothing from the ribbing he took in 2011 when his children dared him to grow a moustache. When he appeared on Match of the Day on Saturday sporting a grey goatee, he faced the inevitable deluge of ridicule on Twitter.


Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:44:10 -0700

But perhaps more importantly (at least to his wife), he'll be able to shave the goatee he's been growing while he was on the sidelines rehabbing a strained left oblique. “I can't say I grew a real good one,” Brees said, via Evan Woodberry of the New ...


Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:03:45 -0700

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees returned to practice this week sporting a new goatee on his chin. On Saturday, when Brees plays in his first. preseason game at the Indianapolis Colts, expect it to be history. "I can't say I grew a real good ...
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:26:15 -0700

Earlier this month, Sam Collins pledged to shave his head if he could raise $1,000 to help Lieutenant Paul Campbell, who is diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. Circuit Judge Bill Engle challenged Collins to take it a step further, by shaving off ...
Vincennes Sun Commercial
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 21:07:30 -0700

SHELBYVILLE — Vincennes University cross country runners Robert Murphy and TaPring Goatee won their races Saturday as the men finished second and the women fourth at the Franklin Sodexo Grizzly Invitational. Murphy's first career cross country win at ...

Yahoo!7 News

Fox Sports
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:00:00 -0700

Not only did the goatee enhance his bowling powers, but it looked to have done the same with his batting as Johnson launched a massive shot down the ground that smashed into the glass pane shielding the TV commentators from the elements.

Us Magazine

Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:30:12 -0700

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star premiered his unusual facial hair — which also includes an accompanying goatee — at the Rehab Dayclub at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas on August 16. Brody was on hand to DJ with William Lifestyle at the ...
Sat, 09 Aug 2014 06:03:54 -0700

This is a look that I'm fairly certain will not be catching on with the public at large. The back-of-head goatee? No, I don't think the young people will be emulating Coco Crisp on this one. This look will remain a Coco Crisp exclusive for the ...

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