In the traditional taxonomy of facial hair, a goatee is a beard formed by a tuft of hair on the chin. The word probably comes from the tuft of hair seen on an adult goat. In recent years, goatee has come to denote a style of facial hair that connects to a mustache (Van Dyck ), however this is under debate by many who retain that the goatee should be an isolated patch of facial hair.

Goatee styles

  • French Fork - a double pointed goatee
  • Musketeer - a small, pointed goatee with an English moustache (narrow, prominent), as worn by the French mousquetaires
  • Van Dyck - a thick goatee and moustache with upturned ends, as worn by the 17th century Flemish painter, Sir Anthony van Dyck. In modern usage, a Van Dyck is often any moustache and goatee combination.

Depending on the wearer and their personality, goatees are worn either fully maintained and trimmed daily, or they can be worn quite robust. The style is also very much based on the wearer's facial construction. This greatly someone with a rounder face may crop their goatee one way, a person with a different face shape may shape theirs with different care taken to the corners.

In the state of Kerala, India, the goatee is also popularly referred to as a Bulganin, after the erstwhile premier of the Soviet Union.

Similar facial hair styles

  • The royale (or impériale) is a tuft of hair under the lower lip (without a goatee, but perhaps worn with a moustache). While the royale was historically worn by French officers as a badge or adornment of military rank or status, it is not technically a goatee. It is sometimes referred to as a "soul patch.
  • A tiered goatee is a goatee that has variable lengths of hair to create a multi-leveled beard. This is used to create some sort of distinction between different sections of a beard.
  • Chin beard - a beard formed solely by a tuft of hair on the chin (i.e. lacking accompanying mustache)
  • Circle beard - a chin beard and mustache which are connected by hair on each side of the mouth to form a complete circle.
  • Rico - a very fine arrow-pointed goatee. It can also be worn with a soul patch. The soul patch does not connect with the goatee. It is worn by master cigar maker George Rico.

Goatees in fiction

In fiction, goatees are often associated with antagonists, such as Satan, and figures associated with the Satanic. In satirical fiction, the goatee is often a symbol of a character's evil twin. Mirror, Mirror, an episode of the television series Star Trek: The Original Series, introduced such a counterpart to the character Spock in a Mirror Universe. The only physically distinguishing characteristic between the good and evil versions of the character was a goatee. In Doctor Who, the Doctor's arch enemy the Master wears a Van Dyke (goatee with connected mustache) in his two most prominent incarnations played by different actors.

The Star Trek Mirror Universe idea has been parodied and re-used in a number of science fiction and comedy television shows including Mystery Science Theater 3000 (episode Last of the Wild Horses), South Park (episode Spookyfish in which Cartman's evil twin is actually good), Futurama (episode Lesser of Two Evils which introduced Flexo), and Family Guy (episode 5x02, Mother Tucker).

See also

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