get goat(redirected from get on goat)
get (one's) goat
To annoy or anger one. That guy just gets my goat every time he opens his mouth.
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.
get someone's goat, to
To annoy someone, to make a person lose his or her temper. This term is definitely American in origin, but its precise provenance has been lost. H. L. Mencken was told that it came from the practice of putting a goat inside a skittish racehorse’s stall in order to calm it down. Removing the goat shortly before the race would upset the horse and reduce its chances of winning, a ruse supposedly planned by a gambler who had bet on the horse’s losing. This explanation seems more far-fetched than a possible connection of the term with the verb “to goad.” In any event, it came into use about 1900.
See also: get
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.