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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—as 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 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 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. ^ 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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Tue, 21 Apr 2015 11:46:35 -0700

On the merits of the goatee alone I will give ABSOLUTION a shot, but it also doesn't hurt that Vinnie Jones is in this as well. Do I have high expectations for this movie to be a return to Seagal's heyday? No, but you could do worse than seeing him ...

Western Daily Press

Western Daily Press
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 01:48:45 -0700

Karl explained he was too young but waited until he was asleep and gave him a moustache and goatee - with a biro. Cheeky Karl posted it on Facebook and it was then picked up by the Lad Bible site and has since been shared 110,000 times - and earned ...


Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:02:06 -0700

It's well known that the Yankees have a strict team policy regarding facial hair, but their players are still allowed to grow mustaches. They are taking advantage of it in a big way this season, with Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Jacoby Ellsbury ...

New York Daily News

New York Daily News
Sat, 25 Apr 2015 14:45:18 -0700

Williams, coming under heavy scrutiny after scoring just two points in Game 2 and missing a potential game-tying jumper with 10.9 seconds remaining, shaved the lengthy beard that had become his look since the preseason, settling on a traditional goatee ...


Sat, 25 Apr 2015 11:09:14 -0700

His blonde-tinted hair and wispy goatee give him away, though not as much as the Oregon gear he wears. His gray "O"-emblazoned parka and cleats that appear dipped in yellow and green paint were given to him by UO receiver Bralon Addison.

The Guardian

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Sat, 25 Apr 2015 14:11:15 -0700

Tall, rake-thin and bald, with a goatee beard, Parkinson said he had noticed something interesting in the way the teenage boys he teaches were treating the upcoming poll. “On the one hand, the 15- and 16-year-old lads I come across will use the word ...

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Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:11:15 -0700

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