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

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 7 17:10:15 UTC 2014

Old Song:

"The night that Paddy Murphy died,
I never will forget..."

So he must have been real at some time.


On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 12:25 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Not separating the geep from the shoats (and the OED)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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.
> Joel
> At 4/7/2014 07:25 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list