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Adjective. Late Middle English.
[Latin caprinus, from caper, capr- goat: see -INE. Compare with Old & modern French caprin.]
Of or pertaining to a goat or goats; goatlike.
Goats really have it quite rough - when any kind of comparison involves a goat, it's rarely good. If you're 'acting the goat', you're being a fool, and if you 'get someone's goat', you really irritate them. Even worse, they're often associated with evil - Jesus told the parable of the 'sheep and the goats' in Matthew 25:31-46, the Devil is often depicted as having goatlike features, and caprine imagery is often associated with the occult and Satanism (an inverted pentagram, for example, is sometimes said to represent a goat's head). Oh, and let's not forget those animal-loving Spaniards and their let's-chuck-a-goat-off-a-church-roof festival.
I say they have it rough (I would have so loved a caprine-based pun for that sentence, but I couldn't think of one) because goats, obviously, aren't inherently evil. In fact, they're rather remarkable creatures that humans have used for their own ends quite happily for thousands of years. By nature, goats are intelligent, curious and famously agile (unlike idiotic sheep which regularly get stuck on their backs). It's perhaps partly this combination of intelligence, inquisitiveness and agility that has given goats a bad rep, as they can be notoriously difficult to keep housed as they constantly test fences and enclosures for weaknesses and exit points. To be truthful, if I'm ever outsmarted by a goat, I'll probably spread rumours about its obvious occult connections too.
Are you, your significant other, or any of your loved ones caprine?
Can you think of a good caprine-based pun for 'Goats have it ...'?
Do please act the goat in the comment box below.