In modern slang, the word “goat” is no longer connected to a subspecies of c. aegagrus. It is now an acronym for Greatest Of All Time.
For example, one might say that Stan Lee was the G.O.A.T. at comics. However, the most common usage of the term in the field of sports players. This doesn’t mean it can’t be adapted to a wide range of other fields as well.
According to Grammarphobia, the origins of the term’s usage in sports are hard to pin down. The earliest example of the phrase being used to describe a sports player comes from the October 10, 1909 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In the article, the author writes that “Catcher Schmidt, who had been the ‘goat’ of the first game, redeemed himself at this time.” This article, however, uses the term in a negative sense, referring to Schmidt as a scapegoat.
The earliest known usage of its usage as an acronym for “Greatest of All Time” dates back to 1992. Lonnie Ali, wife of the late Muhummad Ali, created Greatest of All Time, Inc. (abbreviated as G.O.A.T. Inc.) to license her husband’s intellectual property.
By 2003, the slang usage of the word had been established due to entries on the Urban Dictionary defining it as an “anacronym [sic] for G.reatest O.f A.ll T.ime [sic].” According to a Google Trends analysis of searches for “G.O.A.T. greatest of all time” from 2004 to now reveals that the term was most searched for from May to June 2004. People may not always agree on who the G.O.A.T. is in a particular field, but the history of the term sure is fascinating.
By: Brig Larson
Photo Credits: FeaturePics.com