For years we’ve had very few slang or acronyms for people and things that stand out than fit in. Most of our slang is based on emotions, emotional responses, or simply acronymic replies that convey quickly. GOAT is one such rare slang dedicated for a reason.

Spelled out as GOAT or G.O.A.T may seem silly at first if you were to pronounce the acronym as a word. But, it is colloquially, the biggest title anyone or anything could have in the present day and age. It’s a well-deserving crown of recognition that’s often earned and never taken or given without reason or cause.

So, what exactly is GOAT and why does it come with honor, privilege, and hard work?

The Ceremonious Coinage of GOAT

Goat, as we know it, is an animal and the capitalized version of it still stands the same and is spelled out as it is. But, the slang has no animalistic connotations. When ‘goat’, as an initialism, is written out as a word (with just the first letter being capital or all lowercase letters), it is contextually not read in reference to the animal.

The slang ‘Goat’, ‘GOAT’, or ‘G.O.A.T’ expands to ‘Greatest Of All Time’. This inference began with the Greatest himself, Muhammad Ali. Fans, onlookers, and admirers, rightfully began calling and titling Ali as ‘The Greatest’. It was, without a doubt, a reference to his exceptional presence in the boxing ring.

However, the one who attributed this title and created the acronym ‘GOAT’ was Muhammad Ali’s wife, Yolanda Ali. She crowned her husband and the greatest boxer in history as the Greatest Of All Time, in the 90s. Some claim it was a publicity stunt, but we think, it was a reference straight from the heart. And so, the acronymic slang stuck on.

GOAT’s first appearance in music

GOAT was soon popularised in the 2000s when the American rapper, Ladies Love Cool James (LL Cool J) released his album with the label ‘G.O.A.T’ in the year 2000. In his track ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’, LL Cool J refers to Muhammad Ali along with the latter’s birth name, ‘Cassius’.

It may seem coincidental that the album’s named ‘G.O.A.T’ and further into the record, there’s a track with a Muhammad Ali reference. But we vouch that it’s deliberate and in reference to the Greatest Of All Time, indeed.

GOAT debuts on the internet

An anonymous entry in the Urban Dictionary dating back to 2002 seems to be the earliest internet reference to GOAT as an acronym. Different people had and still have different theories of what a ‘goat’ in slang should be. But, currently, the universal understanding of GOAT is that of a proud title.

How Often Can You Use GOAT?

The nature of the slang itself is exclusive. It’s not ‘Great’ but the ‘Greatest’. So, GOAT must be used sparingly and for justifiable reasons. You could apply it on a small scale, provided someone or something is, indeed, the ‘greatest’ at what they do or it does.

Another reason why GOAT cannot be used as frequently (and sometimes mindlessly) as other internet slang is because it succeeds an entitling article – ‘the’. You cannot use something that follows ‘The’ always — it must be reserved for the greatest, the best, the most, etc. GOAT works only for superlatives and fittingly so.

Now that GOAT’s criterion for infrequent usage is answered by the value it holds, here are all the ways you can use GOAT online and offline:

While referring to the GOAT

Each field of work, profession, art, skill, talent, and passion, has its own GOAT. Besides mainstream sectors of identification, GOATs occupy a well-deserved place even in niches. So, if you’re referring to the Greatest Of All Time in a mainstream or niche sector that you’re personally involved in or generally just a follower, you can use GOAT.

Subjective greatness

GOAT is more a title than slang. But that doesn’t wipe out the fact that it is an informal word at subjective disposal. So, if you personally feel something or someone to be the Greatest Of All Time for you, then too, feel free to use GOAT. Like, ‘Idk about you, but this album is hands-down the GOAT for me’ or ‘You’re the GOAT to me’.

Emphasizing GOAT energy

This is when something isn’t necessarily the Greatest Of ‘All Time’, but it is simply exceptional in its own way. When something or someone carries GOAT energy, it means that despite not being the Greatest Of All Time and earning an objective or subjective official title — it drives the energy of greatness.

The context here is inspirational, admirable, awe-inspiring, and just brilliant in its own way. For example, ‘Look at her being a GOAT in the face of adversity. LOVE IT’, ‘Never quit, mate. Be your own GOAT’, or ‘This movie, though non-commercial is such a GOAT, I can’t!!!’.

Emojis That Go Great With GOAT

It may seem like a hilarious mistake to use a 🐐 Goat emoji in a GOAT context simply because the name coincides exactly. But, chances are, that this is the one emoji that perfectly conveys the slang and is sometimes used as a replacement for it.

There isn’t much space for a misunderstanding when you use 🐐 with GOAT. More often than not, the context would explain the emoji’s usage. However, if you want to get creative and use an emoji other than a goat for GOAT, here are our options:


It’s no doubt that GOAT is not an acquired title, it is given — by fans, onlookers, and people who appreciate one’s work. The person is rightfully crowned as GOAT for a feat(s) that is ideally earned and not bought. So, if you’re referring to a GOAT who won a title fair and square, then, you can use the 👑 Crown emoji.

You could also personify your reference or give the GOAT an emoji face, with a 🫅 Person With a Crown emoji or their binary variants — the👸 Princess or 🤴 Prince emojis.


Everything about being a GOAT is in the flex. GOATs are not just good at what they do, but they’re the Greatest of All Time at it! What’s a bigger flex than that? If you’re speaking with no cap about how GOAT someone or something is, and respectfully hyping their flex, you can use the 💪 Flexed Bicep emoji.

Cheer for the GOAT

When you crown someone as GOAT, officially or personally, you’re rooting for them. You cheer for them and their achievements. To express this positive emotion, you can use the 🙌 Raising Hands emoji along with your heartfelt message for the GOAT. You can also use a pair of 👏 Clapping Hands to convey your support and respect with applause.

Salute the GOAT

Respect and salutes go hand-in-hand. You can show how much you respect and look up to a GOAT with the 🫡 Saluting Face emoji. This applies in formally informal contexts like captions, comments, and personal contexts like messages as well.


GOAT has been in our slang dictionary for nearly 30 years now. It a one-of-a-kind slang that’s is set aside for the animate and inanimate that stand out and above mediocrity. Although an informal, colloquial acronym/initialism, it is prestigious to be recognized and given the title of GOAT.