get one's goat (1906)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 3 23:17:25 UTC 2014

On Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 6:10 PM, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at> wrote:
> I presented my notion and reviewed a few examples here in 2005:
> or

Sorry I missed this very interesting summary. The early examples of
"lose one's goat" (= 'lose one's composure') are especially
illuminating. Here's an even earlier cite from the Jersey Journal:

1906 Mar 21 _Jersey Journal_ 2/6 Joseph Dunn, 24 years old, of 88
Beacon Avenue, lost "his goat" yesterday when small boys with hard
snowballs used him for a target.


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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