Proto-Microspeak: The goat rodeo


Somebody at a meeting two years ago used the term "goat rodeo" to describe a completely confused situation. The term stuck with me as a really funny folksy analogy. It's not official Microspeak, but who knows, it may someday gain currency. I certainly enjoy saying it.

"Goat rodeo."

"Goat rodeo."

"Goat rodeo."

(Some earlier Microspeak entries: schedule chicken, baking.)

Comments (14)
  1. Ebbe Kristensen says:

    Interesting. There is a Danish expression, "gedemarked", i.e "goat market", that has roughly the same meaning.

  2. Clayton says:

    Friends of mine have been using this term for 5 years or so.  I’m not sure if it comes from the same place or not.

  3. David says:

    Hmmm. I feel bad about even saying this, but the only time I’ve ever heard something like a ‘this is a goat #@*!’ phrase then it sounds, um, a little more ‘vernacular’, but with basically the same meaning.

    Using ‘rodeo’ makes it a much nicer expression.

  4. Jim Howard says:

    Since at least 1970 the Air Force has used the term "goat rope" to mean the same thing, as in "This exercise is a total goat rope".

  5. andr00 says:

    In 1997 or 1998, one of my confreres used this term to refer to Cisco’s collective development processes. Soon after that, our little group created an IRC channel #goatrodeo, which exists to this day.

  6. dpike says:

    This is a term coined (or perhaps just used) by EdSt during the Win98 dev cycle. He had so many of these terms that DaveFe made a t-shirt with them on it.

  7. Neal says:

    This term goes back at least as far as 1983 where it was a popular expression at a large pharmaceutical company in NJ.

  8. George Jansen says:

    As for "goat rope", the term "goat roper" was current in Denver about 30 or 35 years ago, used for someone who pretended to be a cowboy but wasn’t.

  9. Reminds me of a Tintin adventure where Haddock accuses Professor Calculus of "acting the goat". Ah, Tintin . . .

  10. Mark says:

    So – is "baking" here derived from silicon, or from Buffy? ("I’m cookie dough… I’m not done baking yet")

  11. JenK says:

    "Baking" was in use at Microsoft when I was there (90-00) so no, not 7th season Buffy.  

    I think it’s derived from "half-baked", actually :)

  12. quantumghost says:

    My favorite is the term "herding cats"  used to describe a group of unruly (prima donna) types who all want to go their own way….you can imagine!

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