[Ads-l] Get one's goat

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 3 17:03:00 UTC 2014


Thanks, Ben; sorry. I did not see the citation I posted in the usual
locations. (At least it's in the ADS archives now.) Below is a
citation in 1910 for a variant phrasing: "Don't take my goat".  A
flimflammer lost his composure when a judge selected Friday the 13th
for a court date. I doubt anyone has already shared this one.

Newspaper: Los Angeles Herald
Location: Los Angeles, California)
Date: May 6, 1910
Quote Page 9, Column 4
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH! GEE WHIZ, JUDGE! HOODOO!

Joe B. DeFord,  charged with being
a check flimflammer, nearly collapsed
yesterday when Judge Summerfield, at
his arraignment, named Friday, May
13, as the date of his preliminary ex-
amination.

"Gee whiz, judge! Don't take my
goat by giving me that hoodoo day.
Give me a chance. It'll put a jinx on
my case if I get thirteen and Friday
bunched."
[End excerpt]

Garson


On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Get one's goat
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> This example appears in Peter Reitan's Early Sports and Pop Culture
> History Blog post (linked to in my Word Routes column):
>
> http://esnpc.blogspot.com/2014/10/getting-goats-losing-goats-stable-goats.html
>
> I also discussed the example (and quoted it) in the Lexicon Valley podcast.
>
> http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2014/11/lexicon_valley_the_etymology_and_history_of_the_phrase_to_get_one_s_goat.html
>
>
> On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 10:44 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
>>
>> Here is an instance of "got his goat" in the important boxing domain
>> dated Nov. 18, 1905. In this instance, the phrase "the crowd got his
>> goat" meant a fighter lost his composure and was unable to fight
>> effectively. Douglas Wilson has cogently commented on the sense of
>> "losing your composure" and its connection to losing one's goat.
>>
>> Note, the instance below appeared after Stephen Goranson's find from
>> Oct. 21, 1905 which was about table manners.
>>
>> Date: November 18, 1905
>> Newspaper: The Washington Times
>> Location: Washington, District of Columbia
>> Quote Page: 8
>> Column: 1
>> Database: Newspapers.com
>>
>> Article title: Bloomin' Briton Won Hands Down
>> Subtitle 01: Yankee Sailor Had No Chance Whatever
>> Subtitle 02: Made Miserable Showing
>> Subtitle 03: American Couldn't Fight and Had Stage Fright - Was
>> Whipped From Very Start
>> Author: Tad
>>
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> Jack was a scrawney looking tar. He
>> looked as though the beans did not
>> agree with him at all. Jack was at
>> sea. Well, he was not exactly, either.
>> I think the crowd got his goat, or the
>> idea of fighting - one or the other - be-
>> cause he did not say boo and sat down
>> like a mope. Tom Sharkey, the referee,
>> was as busy as a bird dog telling the
>> sailors what to do and how to do it.
>> [End excerpt]
>>
>> Garson
>>
>> On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>> Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
>>> Subject:      Re: 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
>>> 1903.
>>>
>>> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2014-October/134508.html
>>>
>>> So Stephen Goranson's find from Oct. 21, 1905 (Public Opinion) is
>>> still the earliest known use of the full expression. See:
>>>
>>> http://www.vocabulary.com/articles/wordroutes/getting-ones-goat-can-you-help-solve-the-mystery/
>>>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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