Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Texting & Messaging 73 73 people found this article helpful What Does GOAT Mean? Get the goods on this popular slang term By Elise Moreau Freelance Contributor Elise Moreau is a writer that has covered social media, texting, messaging, and streaming for Lifewire. Her work has appeared on Techvibes, SlashGear, Lifehack and others. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Elise Moreau Updated January 14, 2020 Texting & Messaging Email Texting & Messaging Video Calls Tweet Share Email It turns out "GOAT" isn't just a word used to describe an animal that spends its life on a farm or a mountainside. No, this word is actually an acronym too. GOAT stands for: Greatest Of All Time. This is a relatively popular expression you might hear in everyday, face-to-face conversation. How GOAT Is Used GOAT is an acronym typically used to describe something or someone as the absolute best in its league or category. If you were to compare something or someone to anything or anyone else of similar qualities, characteristics, achievements or skills, it or they would still be number one. Many people use GOAT as a way to share their opinion about something or someone they think is the best — from their own perspective. In other words, the use of GOAT is often based on subjectivity. GOAT is also often used in an exaggerated sense when it triggers an emotional reaction in the current moment. If something about a particular thing or person impressed you enough, you may feel inspired to say they're the "greatest of all time" — even if you subconsciously knew there were other comparable things or people that were just as good (or better). The Surprising Origin of GOAT The acronym GOAT as "Greatest Of All Time" was originally coined by rapper LL Cool J when he named his eighth album after it in the year 2000. It was written with periods after every letter as "G.O.A.T." to emphasize the fact it was an acronym and not a word used to describe a domesticated farm/wild mountain-dwelling animal. Examples of How GOAT Is Used Example 1 Friend #1 text: "Hey, did you catch last night's game and the final 3 mins?! It was epic!!!" Friend #2 text: "Yeah, man, Johnson is the GOAT!!!!" In this first example, two friends are talking about a sports event. Friend #2 describes one of the players as the GOAT, perhaps as an exaggerated aftereffect of an exciting and favorable outcome. Example 2 Facebook message from a friend: "Just wanted to say your new profile pic is GOAT" In this example, a Facebook user uses GOAT as a way to compliment someone. They also choose to leave the word "the" out from it before the actual acronym. Example 3 Twitter tweet: "Unpopular opinion: The Bachelor is the GOAT when it comes to reality TV." This third example clearly shows how GOAT can be used to simply share an opinion. Other people might not agree, based on their own perspectives. Example 4 Text from a friend: "Sorry I totally forgot about our coffee date. I realized I accidentally scheduled it into the wrong month in my calendar... because I'm the goat..." This final example shows how GOAT can be used sarcastically. This friend made a mistake in their schedule and missed a meet-up, then described themselves as the GOAT of making mistakes for a humorous effect. How to Tell If Someone Means the Acronym or the Animal GOAT is one of those strange acronyms that's also a regular word in the English language. Almost everyone knows what a goat actually is, and your brain might automatically identify it as the animal first before considering the acronym. But what if you can't tell what they mean? Look for these signs: It's capitalized.The word "the" used right in front of it.It has periods after every letter.It's used as a reference to something or someone.It sounds like the person using it is impressed. If you can identify any of the above qualities in a comment containing GOAT, then there's a chance it's being used as the acronym. Your next test should involve reading it over at least once with the acronym in mind and then reading it over again with the animal in mind to determine which one makes more sense.