goat

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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 your goat

to make you very annoyed or angry The message on her answering machine is really annoying, and I think she leaves it on there just to get my goat.
See also: get, goat

separate the men from the boys

to show which people in a group can do something difficult and which people cannot The five-day camping trip next month should separate the men from the boys!
See also: boy, men, separate

act/play the goat

  (informal)
to behave in a silly way, sometimes in order to make people laugh Insecure and lonely, he resorted to acting the goat to get people's attention.
See also: act, goat

get your goat

  (British, American & Australian informal) also get on your goat (Australian informal)
to annoy you It really gets my goat when people push past without saying 'Excuse me'. The kid never stops whingeing - he really gets on my goat.
See also: get, goat

separate the sheep from the goats

  (British, American & Australian) also sort (out) the sheep from the goats (British & Australian)
to choose the people or things of high quality from a group of mixed quality I'll look through the application forms and separate the sheep from the goats.
See also: goat, separate, sheep

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

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.