Cultural Literacy: Get Someone’s Goat

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the phrase “get someone’s goat.” This is a half-page worksheet with a reading of four sentences and three comprehension questions.

As you know, this expression means, as the reading has it, “to make someone annoyed or angry.” The expression originates from a tradition in horse racing involving placing a goat, which was believed to exercise a calming influence over high-strung thoroughbreds, in the stall with a race horse. This explanation for the expression originated, evidently, with H.L. Mencken. However, there is reason to doubt the legitimacy of the origin story for this expression. Wherever it originated, this idiom has a rich history.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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