Big Goatee


A. He doesn't have a mustache. But he has a big goatee.
- I think the word "big" is redundant here, right?

Thanks a lot!

  • domangelo

    Senior Member
    United States English
    I wonder. A goatee can be long or short, but if it is wide, doesn't it become a Van Dyke?


    Senior Member
    United States English
    It is a bit old-fashioned, I guess. I can't remember the last time I heard anyone refer to a Van Dyke. To my mind, it congers up something larger and wider than a goatee.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    There are certainly goatees of various sizes.
    I don't think there is a prescribed distinction between a goatee and a van Dyck, apart from the fact that the term "van Dyke" is not used here.

    I was amused to discover that the first examples of goatee in the OED allude more clearly to the original - they are goaty beards.


    Senior Member
    United States English
    I must say that I had never given it much thought, my ideas of a Van Dyke (I persist in that spelling) and a goatee being quite distinct. I love Mr. Van Dyck's self portrait, but I was dismayed to see that he was wearing something that looks clearly like a goatee. I did a little googling (or yahooing, in this case) and found several websites which explain the difference between the two beards (Britons, please take notes, there will be a quiz). The easiest explanation I found was that Uncle Sam sports a goatee, but Satan favors a Van Dyke.
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