Not separating the geep from the shoats (and the OED)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Apr 7 16:25:49 UTC 2014

As Jon may be hinting, rancher Paddy Murphy (are we sure this story
didn't originate on April 1?)* didn't separate his goat from his
sheep soon enough.

PS.  If Paddy or The Herald of Edinburgh were to consult the OED,
they would find that his new arrival is perhaps not "extremely
unusual" -- many predecessors have claimed to have produced geep and
shoats, and have chosen both/either name since 1969.

Source:  OED, "shoat, n.3", first published 1993.  Specifically:
1971   New Scientist 8 July 66/1   Hundreds of people have claimed
success in breeding shoats or geep.

PPS.  While "shoat" acquired an "s" in the plural, as does "goat",
"geep" apparently did not, as does "sheep".  An interesting
linguistic hybrid phenomenon; does the endmost element have the
dominant genome?

PPPS. Although gestated in 1971, "geep" does not have its own entry in the OED.

* Sheep-goat hybrids exist; I only wonder about this particular tail.


At 4/7/2014 07:25 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

The American Dialect Society -

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