[Ads-l] Get one's goat

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Wed Dec 3 15:31:42 UTC 2014

Fwiw, I saw that joke but didn't post it, as it did not seem at the time directly related. Similarly, I had not mentioned a 1900 newspaper headline "Got His Goat," as a real goat was involved, and it also seemed rather iffy. America's Historical N. Paper: Oregonian, published as The Sunday Oregonian.; Date: 02-25-1900; Page: 17, col. 5; Location: Portland, Oregon 

Stephen Goranson
From: American Dialect Society ... on behalf of Ben Zimmer ...
Sent: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Get one's goat

On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 9:15 AM, Michael Quinion wrote:
> Thanks to Garson O'Toole for the 1903 citation, to to others for prompting
> me to update my piece about the idiom, which is at bit.ly/1FNUlko .
> In it, I note there a widely circulated joke from the 1880s that uses "get
> my goats", which may have some bearing on the origin of the expression.
> Your comments are welcomed.

Garson noted in a followup post that the Indianapolis Sun item was
misdated by NewspaperArchive -- the likely date for that was 1908, not


So Stephen Goranson's find from Oct. 21, 1905 (Public Opinion) is
still the earliest known use of the full expression. See:



Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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