get (one's) goat(redirected from get their goats)
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
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]
get someone's goatINFORMAL
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.
get someone's goatirritate 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.
get somebody’s ˈgoat(informal) annoy somebody very much: That woman really gets my goat. She does nothing but complain. ♢ It really gets my goat when people smoke in non-smoking areas.
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.