get someone's goat


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get someone's goat

Annoy or anger someone, as in By teasing me about that article I wrote, he's trying to get my goat, but I won't let him . The origin of this expression is disputed. H.L. Mencken held it came from using a goat as a calming influence in a racehorse's stall and removing it just before the race, thereby making the horse nervous. However, there is no firm evidence for this origin. [c. 1900]
See also: get, goat

get someone's goat

INFORMAL
If someone or something gets your goat, they annoy you. If there's one thing that gets my goat, it's some fashion critic telling us what we can and can't wear. It was a bad performance, but what really got the media's goat was the manager's refusal to take the blame. Note: This expression may be connected with the early 20th century practice in America of putting goats in the same stable as racehorses, since the goats seemed to have a calming effect. If someone stole the goat, the horse would be upset and its performance would be affected.
See also: get, goat

get someone's goat

irritate someone. informal
1998 Andrea Ashworth Once in a House on Fire It got his goat when he caught me…with my nose stuck in a book turned the wrong way up.
See also: get, goat