get someone's goat
Origin uncertain; it has been suggested that the term may be derived from French prendre la chèvre (literally “to take the goat”), or refer to the stealing of a goat mascot from a military unit, etc.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌɡɛt ˈsʌmwʌnz ˈɡəʊt/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌɡɛt ˈsʌmwʌnz ˈɡoʊt/
- Hyphenation: get some‧one's goat
get someone's goat (third-person singular simple present gets someone's goat, present participle getting someone's goat, simple past got someone's goat, past participle (UK) got someone's goat or (US) gotten someone's goat)
- (informal) To annoy or infuriate someone.
- Synonyms: get someone's nanny, get someone's nanny-goat, get under one's goat, (Australia, colloquial, vulgar) give someone the shits; see also Thesaurus:annoy, Thesaurus:enrage
- It really gets my goat when inconsiderate people drop litter in public.
- 1924 October, John Galsworthy, “The Mark Falls”, in The White Monkey, London: William Heinemann Ltd., published November 1924, OCLC 25115838, part II, page 123:
- "Unfortunately," said Soames, "there's no such thing as luck in properly regulated assurance, as we shall find, or I'm much mistaken. I shouldn't be surprised if an action lay against the Board for gross negligence!" That had got the Chairman's goat!—Got his goat? What expressions they used nowadays!
- 1941 May, “Milestone”, in T. Orchard Lisle, editor, The Log, volume 36, number 8, San Francisco, Calif.: Miller Freeman Publishers, OCLC 654678803, page 34:
- But there's one litte thing that gets my goat, / That certainly strikes a sour note. / It's that Southern Ship who has my place— / With her larger decks and her faster pace.
- 1962 February 1, Ken Kesey, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Signet Books; 225location=New York, N.Y.), New American Library, OCLC 919653166; republished New York, N.Y.: Signet, New American Library, February 1963, OCLC 970608140, page 95:
- It sure did get their goat; they turned without saying a word and walked off toward the highway, red-necked, us laughing behind them. I forget sometimes what laughter can do.
- 2002, Barry Winbolt, “Looking for New Ideas”, in Difficult People: A Guide to Handling Difficult Behaviour, Seaford, East Sussex: ISR Publishing, Institute for Social Relations, published 2005, →ISBN, section 2, pages 191–192:
- Sometimes people are quite simply intent on riling us; on getting our goat. [...] If you don't want them to get your goat, don't let them know where it is.