When Jennifer Lawrence called Meryl Streep “the GOAT” while filming “Don’t Look Up,” Streep played along. It wasn’t until later that Lawrence found out that Streep assumed “GOAT” was referring to her as old, not its colloquial usage as an acronym for “Greatest of All Time.”
“We offhandedly call Meryl the GOAT,” Lawrence said on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” while promoting the movie.
“We were doing the photoshoot and I said GOAT to her. And Meryl said, ‘Yeah, that’s right. Just tell the old goat where to go.’ And I was like, ‘Meryl, you know that GOAT means Greatest of All Time, right? We haven’t just been calling you goat this whole time.’ She took it on the chin.”
But Streep isn’t the only one confused by the slang term.
This summer, a teacher went viral on Reddit after asking why her students call her goat.
The 8th grade math teacher said there was a “running joke where the students would call me goat. And I would respond back each time that they are the goats and they would all laugh ... Can someone (maybe an 8th grader) explain this joke to me?”
After receiving an explanation of the acronym, the teacher wrote, “omg I am IN TEARS!!! I can’t believe they were complimenting me this whole time!!!! Thank you all for answering this question!!!!”
According to Sports Illustrated, the term “goat” originally referred to “an athlete who failed, garishly, hilariously, and at the worst possible time.”
There isn’t a record of the precise moment the meaning shifted from bumbling athlete to the “Greatest of All Time.”
But in 2005, Tom Brady appeared in a GQ magazine cover story with a photo shoot featuring the quarterback holding a baby goat in reference to fans calling him the “GOAT” or “Greatest of All Time.”
Brady has embraced the moniker, and uses the goat emoji excessively on Twitter, per The Wall Street Journal.
However, some fans claim other athletes deserve the title.
The Waco Tribune-Herald compiled a list that includes: gymnast Simone Biles, golfer Tiger Woods, tennis player Serena Williams, swimmer Michael Phelps and basketball player Michael Jordan, to name a few.
Who do you think is the GOAT?