goat

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act the goat

To behave comically or playfully, often to amuse others. Joe never acts the goat—he's always serious. If you continue to act the goat, you're going to have to leave the classroom.
See also: act, goat

play the goat

To behave comically or playfully, often to amuse others. Joe never plays the goat—he's always serious. If you continue to play the goat, you're going to have to leave the classroom.
See also: goat, play

separate the sheep from the goats

To separate the good from the bad. In this Biblical phrase, sheep represent the good and goats the bad. When you choose the students for your homeroom, don't separate the sheep from the goats and give me all the troublemakers!
See also: goat, separate, sheep

get someone's goat

Fig. to irritate someone; to annoy and arouse someone to anger. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get your goat. Jean got Sally's goat and Sally made quite a fuss about it.
See also: get, goat

separate the men from the boys

 and separate the sheep from the goats
Fig. to separate the competent from those who are less competent. (Not necessarily just about males.) This is the kind of task that separates the men from the boys. Working in a challenging place like this really separates the sheep from the goats.
See also: boy, men, separate

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

separate the men from the boys

Distinguish between mature, experienced individuals and novices, as in The picket line will separate the men from the boys in the union. The idiom is used without respect to gender. [c. 1930]
See also: boy, men, separate

separate the sheep from the goats

Distinguish between good and bad individuals, or superior and inferior ones. For example, In a civil war where both sides commit atrocities, you can't separate the sheep from the goats . This term refers to Jesus's prophecy in the New Testament (Matthew 25:32) that the sheep (that is, the compassionate) will sit on God's right hand (and find salvation), and the goats (the hard-hearted) will sit on the left (and be sent to damnation).
See also: goat, separate, sheep

act the goat

BRITISH, INFORMAL, OLD-FASHIONED
If someone acts the goat, they behave in a silly way. A bunch of football fans were acting the goat and we moved to get away from them. Note: Goats are often associated with unpredictable behaviour.
See also: act, 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

separate the sheep from the goats

or

sort out the sheep from the goats

If you separate the sheep from the goats or sort out the sheep from the goats, you examine a group of things or people and decide which are good and which are bad. It is getting harder and harder to sort out the sheep from the goats among the 4,000 or so titles for children that are published every year. Testing exists to separate the sheep from the goats. Note: The Bible says that on the Day of Judgment, Jesus will divide his sheep from the goats. The sheep represent those who are going to heaven, and the goats represent those who are going to hell. (Matthew 25:32)
See also: goat, separate, sheep

get someone’s goat

tv. to irritate someone. Don’t let Mary get your goat. She’s just irritable today.
See also: get, goat

goat

n. a fast and powerful car; a Pontiac GTO. His goat conked out on him.

skin a goat

tv. to empty one’s stomach; to vomit. (From the bleating sound of the wretching.) Was my cooking so bad that everybody had to skin a goat?
See also: goat, skin

get one's goat

To make angry. Many racehorses develop a strong attachment to their stable mascots—dogs, cats, chickens, and, especially, goats. The mascots provide a calming effect— they're the horse's security blankets. One will live in or close to “its” horse's stall and will accompany the horse to racetracks across the country. Horses become very upset when their mascots aren't around, so crafty stablehands would steal away a rival horse's pal. Thus deprived, the horse would become angry when someone got its goat.
See also: get, goat
References in periodicals archive ?
I return again to this passage with my goatish eyes and think I see a saving possibility.
Needless to say, this was before Clinton was driven to confess that the allegations about his behavior, more goatish than ape-like, were all true.
But, in the end, you have to come clean - it was disloyal, shabby and goatish.