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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.

On the Boomer and Carton Postgame Show, the origins of the goatee were questioned, starting a debate of whether or not the 'goatee' was a reference to the similarity it had to a goat's chin hair. Although there is some support that it is named in favor of the goat's chin, there are varying accounts on the exact origin of how the name came to be. Jerry later apologized. [6]


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. 
  6. ^ {cite web | url = https://twitter.com/JerryRecco/status/595708992132947969}

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goatee — Please support Wikipedia.
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22268 news items

The Age

The Age
Wed, 13 May 2015 20:56:15 -0700

A police member who has spent more than three years fighting for the right to retain his goatee has lost a Supreme Court appeal against the force's grooming standards. Leading Senior Constable Michael Kuyken led a group of 16 police in an unsuccessful ...

ABC Online

ABC Online
Thu, 30 Apr 2015 23:11:15 -0700

An Adelaide man sacked by BHP Billiton for refusing to shave off his goatee, arguing the facial hair was his "personal attribute" and a "liberty", has lost an unfair dismissal claim. James Felton worked for the company at its Olympic Dam mine near ...

Coconuts Bangkok

Coconuts Bangkok
Wed, 13 May 2015 02:44:26 -0700

Thousands of bees worked hard to build a hive on the chin of a big Buddha at Wat Pa Na Dong in Bueng Kan province, creating a new Buddha gesture – the goatee. Awesome photos of bearded Buddha spread across Facebook after they were posted ...

mySanAntonio.com (blog)

mySanAntonio.com (blog)
Mon, 04 May 2015 10:04:15 -0700

A West Texas school's band director was placed on administrative leave last month after he sported a goatee to work, which is against the school's policy. Darrington White of Christoval ISD, just south of San Angelo, was disciplined April 15 because of ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Fri, 01 May 2015 20:45:26 -0700

A mining truck driver has been fired after refusing to shave off his goatee, arguing his facial hair was a 'personal attribute' in an unfair dismissal lawsuit. James Felton, 51, was laid off from BHP's uranium mine at Olympic Dam in the far north of ...

Spalding Guardian

Spalding Guardian
Sun, 03 May 2015 10:03:45 -0700

Police are looking for man in his mid 20s and wearing a “goatee beard” in connection with a theft from a Spalding restaurant. A photograph of the man has been released in relation to a theft from the Crystal Inn Restaurant in Churchgate on Wednesday.
Dallas Sun Times
Mon, 04 May 2015 12:30:29 -0700

A West Texas school's band director was placed on administrative leave last month after he sported a goatee to work, which is against the school's policy. Article 1 of 5 . UP NEXT: Officer not charged in fatal shooting of unarmed Mexican immigrant.

KRIS Corpus Christi News

KRIS Corpus Christi News
Fri, 22 May 2015 14:22:30 -0700

He could have more facial hair, a beard or goatee, Lynch said. Police have also been providing security for the victims' family. "Concerns for him on the loose are that he is a dangerous individual, no doubt," Lynch said. "He has at least basic combat ...

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