Goat and Sheep Idioms (Definitions, Real Examples, Video)

Using English idioms naturally is a great way to sound like a native speaker. In this post, you will learn some common idioms with goat and sheep. Start using these idioms today in your own English conversations.

Idioms and expressions with Goat

  • GOAT – Greatest Of All Time
  • Get Somebody’s Goat
  • An Old Goat
  • Skin A Goat
  • Sort Out/Separate The Sheep From The Goats

I found some idioms with goat that I’ve never heard before in my life. I want this post to have useful idioms that native English speakers still use. No old-fashioned or out-of-date idioms were included in this post. Keep reading for definitions and natural examples. 

Goat Meaning

goat noun – ​an animal with horns and a coat of hair, that lives wild in mountain areas or is kept on farms for its milk or meat

  • Goat milk has more protein per serving than standard cow milk.
  • Goats are mountain animals and very good at climbing. They’ve been known to climb to the tops of trees.

goat_noun – OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com 

Goats can be taught their name. They can even come to you when you call them.

Where did the Word Goat Come From?

The origin of the word goat is German. Many English words come from older Germanic languages.

Word Origin
Old English gāt ‘nanny goat’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch geit and German Geiss, also to Latin haedus ‘kid’.

Did you know?
A baby goat is called a ‘kid.’

Goat Idioms

GOATGreatest Of All Time

GOAT noun – (informal) ​the best person ever in a particular field, especially a sport (the abbreviation for Greatest Of All Time)

  • If we talk about boxing I have to say that Muhammed Ali is the GOAT. The is no one better.
  • Many people will argue that Lionel Messi is the GOAT. What do you think?

goat_2 noun – OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com 

get somebody’s goat
(informal) to annoy somebody very much

  • It really gets my goat when the overhead bins in airplanes are being used up by a jacket or even shoes. Please put those things under your seat.
  • Students are always trying to get their teacher’s goat. Experienced teachers don’t let anything bother them.

Did you know?
A goat has four stomachs, the same as a cow.

An old goat
an elderly man who is disliked, especially for being mean to or disapproving of younger people.

  • My soccer ball went over the fence and now the old goat who lives next door won’t give it back.

skin a goat
slang To vomit. Primarily heard in the U.S.

  • Stop the car quick, I think I’m gonna skin a goat.

Separate The Sheep From The Goats
to recognize the difference between people who are good at something, intelligent, etc. and those who are not

  • This is a very difficult obstacle course. This course will separate the sheep from the goats
  • The results from our final exams are posted on the professor’s office door. Let’s go take a look at the grades and separate the sheep from the goats.
Time to separate the sheep from the goats.

Are Goats and Sheep different?

In the Chinese Zodiac, the character that means goat (羊) can also be translated to sheep or ram. 

I think people like a strong animal to represent the year so this character is sometimes translated to the year of the ram. A ram is a male sheep with big horns on his head, the image of a ram it’s more powerful than the image of a goat or sheep. 

A ram looks powerful.

Goats and sheep are from the same animal family but they are different animals. There are several differences but the main one is their coats. Goats are covered in hair and sheep are covered in wool. Sheep wool is often used to make clothing.

Sheep Idioms

sheepish adjective – ​looking or feeling embarrassed because you have done something silly or wrong

  • My son dropped the dishes on the floor, turned to me, and give me a sheepish grin.
  • I knew Dustin wasn’t prepared for the meeting at all. He walked up to the podium to speak looking quite sheepish.

Black Sheep (of the family)
the worst member of a family or group.

  • Brenda is the black sheep of the family. She always gets in trouble with the police.
  • A: “My brother has been kicked out of school 3 times in 4 years.”
    B: “What do you expect from the black sheep of the family?”

*It’s common to just say (the) black sheep to mean the worst person in a family/group. In the example above you could also say:

  • A: “My brother has been kicked out of school 3 times in 4 years!”
    B: “What do you expect from the black sheep?”

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
a dangerous person pretending to be harmless.

  • My new coworker seemed to be a very friendly guy, but we later found out that he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He lied to us and was caught stealing from the company.
I don’t trust the new guy. He seems like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Movies With Goat 

The Men Who Stare at Goats 

The Men Who Stare at Goats is a 2009 movie about a reporter in Iraq who meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army’s New Earth Army, a unit that uses psychic powers in their missions.

The title refers to attempts to kill goats by staring at them and stopping their hearts! Really!

Songs With Goat 

The song G.O.A.T. by Eminem is about how Eminem feels he is the greatest rapper of all time. I have embedded a video with lyrics but… Eminem raps very quickly on this song!

Goat Idioms In The News

Goat Idioms

Owner offers $5K reward after purebred goats go missing from Queen’s County property
– This story really gets my goat!

Lionel Messi: How Ronaldinho helped Messi become the GOAT
– Former teammates of Lionel Messi’s explain how important Ronaldinho was in helping Messi to become one of football’s greatest players.

Thanks for reading my blog post on idioms with goats and sheep. If you can think of some goat idioms that I left out, please tell me in the comments. Also, let me know what gets your goat. Do you have a favorite athlete? Who is the GOAT in your favorite sport?

Goat facts provided by Goat Fun Facts – Lively Run Goat Dairy 

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