A recent one-sided conversation with our good neighbor Dottie, pictured below, inspired two questions: (1) Why do we call a man’s hair patch on and under his chin a “goatee” and a female goat’s similar hair patch a “beard?” and (2)  Why does that get my goat?

As to the first question, beards can grow on both Billy (male) and Nanny (female) goats, but not all goats have beards.


As to the second, apparently there once was a practice of placing a friendly goat in a racehorse’s stall overnight to keep the horse calm before a race; competitive owners sometimes stole the horse’s goat (“got their goat”), making the horse upset and unable to give a peak performance in the race. (Brooklin, Maine)