This page is dedicated to all those good folks, both past and present, of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps

Hogan's Goat Survey
I think the expression originated with

The Hogan's Alley Comic
The Hogan's Goat Song
An Irish American Political Expression
None of the Above
Who Knows?

"It's all f***ed up like Hogan's Goat" he said. I first heard this lovely little saying back in the seventies from an American TBM pilot. I laughed then began to wonder just who this Hogan was and what was so terribly wrong with his goat. No one knew. Later, I reasoned that the expression was a pet saying of the USN and the USMC when I encountered a story by a Second World War Parris Island "graduate" who went off into battle wondering exactly the same thing I was to wonder 35 years later. While in a library a few years back looking into certain old comic strips I encountered the long lost gem "Hogan's Alley", an 1890s newspaper cartoon. I was thrilled. Could it be the key to solving the mystery? I mean it had all the features. Goats, squalor, a man named Hogan who apparently lived in the area. A former USN submariner wrote to me to say he had recollection of seeing Hogan's Alley strips exhibited at a base during World War Two. Alternatively, the expression may have had something to do with corrupt Brooklyn politics during the late 19th century which was the subject of the play "Hogan's Goat" by William Alfred. While by no means conclusive, the "evidence" is presented here for your amusement, consideration and discussion.

Hogan's Alley and Submariners

"Hogan's Alley was also a name given to a berthing area on older diesel U.S. fleet class submarines. It was located in the After Battery Compartment, just aft of the crews mess outboard, port side. If you were stationed on a fleet boat, and limited to berthing in the After Battery, then Hogan's Alley was the preferred place. On the starboard side was a passageway (hallway) leading to the forward engine room. The foot traffic through the after battery was enough to prevent a decent night's sleep."

-John F Curley, Retired U.S. Navy Submariner

Life on an Ocean Wave with Hogan's Goat

" My father, Larry Dinerman, was a pharmacist's mate 3rd Class on LST 22 in the South Pacific. The LST was also nicknamed "Hogan's Goat" and featured a cartoon of a smiling goat in a middy collar and sailor's hat on the side. He also thinks that your answer may be correct as to the origin of the phrase. Thanks for a fun website!"

-Annie Dinerman of New York, originally from Cincinnati

Hogan's Goat in the US Navy: Still Going Strong After All these Years!

" As an Active Duty member of the US Navy I find myself using the "Hogan's Goat" blurb almost on a daily basis. I must confess, however, everytime I used it I would briefly wonder what it truly meant. This has inspired me to find out what many other curious sayings meant, i.e. "The Whole Nine Yards." My research revealed some interesting facts but, the Hogan's Goat thing always eluded me. Thanks for solving the puzzle and any further amplification would be appreciated"

-PO1 Donald Pisechko, USN

(Reader Reggy Gambrell wrote to add that the whole nine yards referred to the complete length of a belt of .50 Cal. ammunition carried on Second World War fighters. "i.e. They got the whole nine yards!" sez Reg. Thanks for the tip!)

(But Wait! Ted Krueger has recently informed me that "'The Whole Nine Yards' refers to the amount of fabric required to make a proper rich man's shirt in medival Scotland. It was a shirt, a blanket and had huge sleeves for storage as the man travelled.")

Hogan's Goat Fact

"FAYE DUNAWAY grew up as an army brat. By twenty-one, she was performing with the Lincoln Center Repertory Group. Four years later, she created a stir off-Broadway in Hogan's Goat."


"Hogan's Goat" Author, William Alfred, Dies in May 1999

Click here to read an article about the late playwright.

Hogan's Goat, The Eternal Question

" My Dad used the phrase "As F****** up as Hogan's goat when I was a kid I can remember this was in the forties. He never was in the Navy but was in the Army during WW ONE. He was cop in a small town in Missouri most of his life and he used the term regularly. Could he have picked it up from a Navy or Marine vet ?/ I always thought it was a midwest term until I joined the Navy. More mysteries - no solid answers. Will we ever know???"

- Art Smith, USN Retired


A Farmin' We Will Go With Hogan's Goat

"Yesterday I was searching for a reference to John V. Hogan (my first cousin) when a whole bunch of references to Hogan's goat appeared. Later that night, I thought Hogan's Goat would be a fabulous name for the Boer goat breeding enterprise I plan to start on 80 acres in Oklahoma. Does anyone know if someone owns the rights? I sure would like to use it since my last name is Hogan.."

-Jeanette Hogan

Oh That Goat!

"I'm a police officer who worked for several years for a retired Marine Colonel. I always knew when my efforts had fallen short because the question "Does this remind you of Hogan's Goat?" would be his conversation opener. I asked my Dad, a WWII Marine Iwo vet, what that meant, and he provided the full "As $#@^& up as Hogan's Goat" phrase for me. Thanks to your web site now I know where it came from."

- Jim Greer

That's a Goat Question: Could This Be the Answer?

"Here's where I think this phrase about Hogan's goat came from. It is from a poem by the same name and a man called Hogan loved a goat but the goat f***** up and ate 3 red shirts off the clothes line. The goat was then tied to a rail road track to wait his untimely demise. Fortunately for the goat, he threw up the red shirts which flagged down the train prior to being killed."

- Rob Noel


"Hogan's Goat" Goes Down in 1948

A Boeing B29 Superfortress, the "Hogan's Goat", was ditched in the Pacific in 1948. Click here to read the exciting account.

-Courtesy of Brother Bob

A Goat is a Goat, of Course, of Course

I'm impressed with your knowledge of obscure American phrases. This one, Hogan's goat was not in the Random House but in Cassell's Dictionary of Slang. I found this: "hogan's goat, phrase, 20th Century, (U.S.), Smelly, malodorous, usually as 'stinks like hogan's goat'. [A fanciful animal owned by a ficticious Irishman] Note: uncapitalised Hogan in this dictionary.

-Dave Hannah

A Precise Goat

"I spent 20 years in the Navy, and heard the "f**ked up as Hogan's Goat" a lot. But when something was really messed up, the saying would be "that makes Hogan's goat look like a precision instrument"

-Joe Kavale

The Goat News

"Not long ago, my boyfriend's brother-in-law told me that I was "as full of s*** as Hogan's goat". I asked him what Hogan's goat was and he told me he didn't know, but I was as full of s*** as he was! I thought nothing of it until recently I was purusing the newspaper and saw an ad for a business called Hogan's Goat. The origin of this Hogan's Goat had me curious so I thought I could find out on the internet. After slogging through a band's website and something about Faye Dunaway I came across this site and you all set me straight. Thanks loads."

-Amanda Briles

Building Great Ships with Hogan's Goat

"At Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, we have used this phrase since we started building ships, well over 100 years ago. As a shipbuilder there for 35+ years, I've heard it almost once a day for those 35years. Yet we build the world's finest ships........Go figure!"

-Dennis Youland

A SeaBee's Goat

"My dad, born in 1919, was a SeaBee from 1942-1945 and during WWII served on many of the islands in the Pacific theatre. His favorite expression was, "This is as screwed up as Hogans Goat." I use the expression to this day and always wondered where it came from. Like the others on this site, now I know. Thanks!!! "

-Tom Freiwald

Goat Ahoy!

"Well, I guess the ole saying is still alive. It's 2003 and I'm eating lunch at my desk when the saying, "All f@#%ed up as Hogan's Goat" pops into my head. My chief used it regularly during my USN tenure from 1976-1980 aboard the USS Independence. Thanks to your web site, I now have some insight to this mysterious saying I had almost forgetten about! Thanks to you and everyone else who have contributed to this site!!! "

-Rick Whittaker

The Merchant Mariner's Goat

"I was a Third, then Second Mate for American Export during the sixties. I sailed on three different ships with three completely different crews, yet that expression was used daily. "

-Bill Mallett

Goat Matters

"A former boss used this just today so I had to look it up. Sounds as if there is no definitive answer to this one either. For example, I have also heard that 9 yards was the capacity of a concrete truck and sharp minded engineers had to ensure that contractors were indeed giving them the "whole 9 yards". I like the .50 caliber version better. Here is the poem that is referenced above and the link where I found it. Whether yakking up those shirts or getting pummeled by a locomotive for its insubordination, that goat would indeed have been f'd up, Hogan's or not. Also known as Bill Grogan's goat or Old Tyram's goat. "

-Brian Tarbuck

Goatness Gracious!

"I asked my first Chief this same question on my first patrol.."so who the hell is Hogan and what the F#@* is the matter with his goat!!?? He told me Hogan was a gay marine who had a pet goat with only three legs,one eye, and a speech impediment. Being a greenie I took him at his word since that did sound pretty f#@*ed up. Interesting to see some other really, who the hell is Hogan and what the hell is the matter with his friggin goat anyway?! "

Leroy - USS James Madison (Gold) SSBN 627, Class of 1973-1977

Here's a Goat One

Here is the version of the "Hogan's Goat" phrase as I have heard it - A long time ago in Ireland there lived a potato farmer named Hogan. With some of his potatoes he would make potato whiskey. Once a week he would go into town to sell some of his whiskey. Naturally, he would sample some of his product and get a little tipsy before he went. His goat would be in the back of the barn eating the waste (potato peels etc.). The goat would get drunk too. As he was staggering into town, the goat would be following (staggering too!). So the town's people seeing this would remark to anyone who had drank too much that "they were as drunk (%$#%#$) as Hogan's Goat"

-Bruce Morgan

The Goat Weather

I heard them saying "As Cold As Hogan's Goat" back in the mid 70's from a man named Bill Magee. I never thought too much about it, but find myself using it everytime the weather gets hot or cold. Older folks when hearing this, comment they have not heard that expression in a long time.

-Jim Oskison

He Has a Goat Memory

My D.I. at Parris Island July 15th to Aug. 30th, 1942, or there abouts, whose name was Cpl. Thompson, would always say to any Boot that screwed up, 'Hogan's Goat compared to you is a virgin, or you are all fouled up like Hogan's Goat.'

-Howard C. Terry

He's a Goat Man

I was at my pal Dale's and he used the expression "as f***** up as Hogan's Goat." Having never heard it before, and intrigued, I googled it and found this wonderful website. As it turns out, Dale is a Navy vet, so that must be where he learned it.

-Randy Walker

A Hell of a Goat Story

"I was a M1A1 Tank Platoon Leader in Germany in 1993 and my Platoon Sergeant, Wesley Castleberry, from Georgia used this expression regularly. Over the years my entire platoon began using it as well. One night, we were occupying a company assembly area near Range 301 at Grafenwoehr Training Area when a shepherd herded his flock of goats into the field behind our position. To our amazment there was a three legged sheep with a missing eye pulling up the rear. Simultaneously, we looked at each other and wonder aloud if we had just seen Hogan's Goat..."

-Gregg Langevin

The Goat in the Disaster

"While manning an Amateur Radio station at the Emergency Management office in Elizabeth City, NC during Hurricane Isabel recovery, I was told by an old salt in Edenton, NC that the situation there was "like Hogan's goat". Indeed it is."

-Jeff Madre

He Makes a Goat Point

"These testimonials are nice, but they don't answer THE question! What IS the explanation for the expression, 'Fxxxxx up as Hogan's goat'?"

-Tom C. McKenney USMC 1949-75

We'll likely never know so the page has just evolved into a stop along the information highway. Here you can have a laugh or share a smile while enjoying a can of your favorite beer. Of course, if anyone out there does figure out the mystery we'd sure like to know!

Another Goat Expression

"I first heard a similar phrase 'deader than Hogan's goat' from a coworker in the FAA in about 1976. It cracked me up, and I've used it frequently in appropriate places ever since. I've often wondered who Hogan's goat was. I still really don't know, but the one tied to the railroad tracks looks like a good candidate.......By the way, my understanding of 'the whole nine yards' has always been the amount of yarn in a skein; nine yards, taken from the context of ensuring that a consumer got full measure of stock from the merchant."

-Rod Peterson

Goat Music

"I came to this site looking for the words to the song Old Hogan's Goat.My kids were taught the song in school music class and were quite offended by it. I thought nothing of it, figured it was a local's song. But when my dad told me his grandparents taught it to him too, I was curious to find it's origin. Here's the song:'....Old Hogan's Goat...Was feeling Fine.........He ate two shirts right off the line....... I took a stick........And broke his back.......And tied him to a railroad track......A speeding train........Came speeding by........Old Hogan's Goat was sure to die........He gave a shriek.......A shriek of pain......Coughed up the shirts......And FLAGGED DOWN THE TRAIN!' Have no idea if it's related to your Hogan's Goat sayings, but I enjoyed your site and thought I'd share the song. "


A Goat Saying

My Dad is now 77 years old and he has always said "I was sicker than Hogan's goat" which leads me to believe the poem post above.

-Dave Doty

A Goat Lesson

Growing up I, as many of you, heard the phrase "F*ck*d up like Hogan's Goat". I didn't realize the mystery or interest about this phrase until I came upon this site. What I heard from my Grandfather, who loved mythology, was this, "Hogan is the Americanized/Anglicized version of Hogun, a Norse warrior and good friend to the Thunder-God, Thor. In his adventures with Thor, he gained the respect of Odin, the All-father. As a gift, Odin gave Hogun a magical goat. The goat was to be used as a pack animal as well as being endowed with a special ability. Hogun could kill, butcher, and eat the goat each evening, and when he awoke the next morning the goat would be completely restored. As with most gifts from Gods, there was a catch-requirement. Hogun could never break any of the goat's bones when butchering or eating the goat. All went well until one evening as he was sitting next to his fire eating his goat, a stranger came upon him. The stranger was an old man, who looked quite poor and destitute. The stranger in actuality was Loki, God of Mischief. Hogun, being the Norse warrior he was, had already consumed most of his goat, but offered the old man what was left. The stranger ate what Hogun had given him, but complained he was still quite hungry. The stranger (Loki) begged Hogun for one bone to break and suck the marrow out of to erase his hunger. Hogun was unsure, but being the kind soul he was, he agreed. He offered the stranger a small leg bone. The stranger then broke it and hungrily sucked the marrow from it. The stranger then thanked Hogun over and over again for his kindness. Hogun went to sleep feeling good about helping the stranger and forgot about Odin's warning. When Hogun awoke the next morning, the goat was restored, but there was a problem. The leg that had been broken was now lame. Consequently, the goat could not carry as much as it had before, nor could it walk as quickly or steadily as it had. And this is where my grandfather told me the term "F*ck*d up as Hogun's Goat" as well as "Broke as Hogun's Goat" came from. I've heard both expressions from childhood. A side note to this, my grandfather also said that he thought this story inspired the famous line "Sucking the marrow from life". I have yet to find anything to verify or discredit this story. If anyone knows more about this, please feel free to e-mail me."

-Glenn Wm. Wymore

A Goat Explanation

I was led to believe by my father that it was 19th-20th century naming of a half man (hogan) and half goat(goat)creature reminescent of Greek Mythology and then popularized. Of course if you were half man and half goat you would be F***** up as hogan's goat as well!!


A Goat Possibility

I heard this expression and immediately asked for further clarification, and was told that some Hogan of legend had a goat that everyone "had their way with," hence the expression. I was satisfied with this explanation because it fit the context of any use of the expression I had encountered since--before visiting this site that is.


Havin' a Goat Time

Well we were out at my friend, Jameson's, house, and Derrick was pretty drunk. Jameson's dad Jim asked Derrick if he was "F**ked up like Hogan's goat". We all just busted out laughing cause none of us have every heard that before, and none of us know's where it come's from.


A Goat Story from her Childhood

When I was a kid in Deale, Md there was a gigantic old gray abandoned navy boat moored at the mouth of our bay that everyone called Hogans Goat. For some reason the other day I thought about Hogans Goat and the meaning and searched the Internet which led me to this site. I think but don't remember for sure (remember I was a kid) that it actually had Hogans Goat across its stern. Many years later in an effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay tributaries Hogans Goat was towed away. It was an oddity among all the fishing and oyster/crab boats but a landmark that certainly marked our channel. I always wondered what ever happened to it and probably will never learn. This site has given me a lot of ideas about the name & its origin. It's also brought back many memories of a boat that held my fascination as a child for many years. Thanks everyone!


A Goat Theory

I grew up in Georgia in the forties. We often drove to vacation sites in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. The first time I saw the very old man in his open red cart being pulled by "a team" of goats my father said that the old man was Hogan - the goat man. We saw him several times over many years, usually in northern GA and NC. Sometimes there would be one or more goats, with apparent injuries or diabilities, in the cart. Often we could smell them before we could see them. When I was old enough to ask, my father said that old Hogan and his goats were indeed the source of someone or something being "f***ked up as Hogan's goat"


The Goat's Moat

I was told there was a man by the name of Hogan. This man had a moat around his castle. One day the moat dried up and all the fish and alligators died and began to stink the place up. Someone said, It's F#$%^& up as Hogans moat, Someone heard that and thought he said Hogans Goat.


The Goat Word Spreads

My uncle Joe was visiting us from Longview, Texas recently, and we were talking about something that was pretty screwed up. Joe exclaimed "that's more F'ed up than Hogan's Goat"! My sister, and brother in law were also in the car with us, and they were also visiting from Mansfield, Texas. Right away it was assumed that someone else in the car knew about Hogan's Goat, and it's affliction. Ultimately after questioning my other relatives in the car, we realized that the only one who knew about Hogan's Goat was my uncle. I had recently met "Hollywood Hulk Hogan" at a Harley Davidson event, but he did not say anything about owning a goat. My sister used to watch Hogan's Heroes, and still no goat. And, my brother in law once ate a Hoagie sandwich, no goat involved there either. We realized that maybe this euphemism was something that did not make it as far west as Southern California, or was a phrase my uncle had devised to describe a situation that was totally screwed up. Now thanks to your wonderful website, we realize that people still refer to poor Hogan's Goat, and we have some history behind it's disorder.

-Cameron Ward

Another Goat Use

A coworker introduced me and others to the saying "Hogan's Goat Detail" and it's now common terminology throughout our company and my home. Something is defined as "Hogan" when a task or job has been haphazardly/piss-poorly done. "Your design of our online customer database is Hogan, because nothing works correctly!" It's very difficult to not use the term daily now. "Half my roof blew away in the windstorm because our developers did such a Hogan job of it".

-Compliments of Grizz

Better Late Than Never

I can't believe in my 65 years of life I never heard of Hogan's Goat until today. I was talking to my brother on the phone and he mentioned that something was "Slower Than Hogan's Goat". He couldn't belive I'd never heard that phrase. He lives in MO. Anyway I decided to research Hogan's Goat on the internet, your website came up. So thought I would let you know of my brother's version. Thanks.


The Goat Old Chief Instructor

"I had a crusty old Chief instructor at A school at Great Lakes in 1974. He couldn't talk for five minutes without saying something was "as f***ed up as Hogan's goat." We were all mystified but none of us newbies had the nerve to ask him where it came from. It just occurred to me now these 30 years later that I could search it on line. Thanks for the site."

-Bill Bracey

The Goat Mystery

"As a late '60's Seabee, I heard how f***** up Hogan's goat was, but I never met Hogan, or set eyes on his goat."

-Mike Zapruder

The Annapolis Goat?

"I thought the Naval Academy's mascot was named Hogan's Goat and was a reference to "the Old Man" on any US Navy ship when he screwed up."

-Dave Colby

The Obstipated Goat

"My grandfather, a WWII era Army man, used to say the phrase "bound up like Hogan's goat," using it explicitly to refer to constipation. He'd often tell me, "that'll bind you up, like Hogan's goat!" If other stories about people having their way with the goat are true, this may explain the idea that it was "bound up." I'm not certain if there's any possibility that the goat was "bound" in any other way (as in tied up).."


They Got Goat Grades

"Elementary reader: We had an elementary book reader in Brooklyn, NY, that had stories of Mr. Hogan and his goat. The goat was always causing trouble getting into gardens and eating the labels off of tin cans. People before me used that reader."

-Eldor Herrmann, age 71

The Goat Old Days

My father taught us kids this poem when we were little. He said he learned it in th C.C.C. camp during the 30's. "...Bill Hogan's goat was feelin' fine... Ate three red shirts right off the line... His master came and broke his back,... Then tied him to the railroad track. The whistle blew,the train came nigh... Bill Hogan's goat was doomed to die... But he gave three hacks in mortal pain... Coughed up the shirts and flagged the train!

-Pat Davidson, Silverdale,WA

(Like to hear from somebody who knows about the poem I sent. Thanx, Pat Davidson, e-mail: )

Lost as a Goat

"Yesterday was my introduction to this phrase. I am in Duluth, Minnesota and got a call from a trucker who was from the southern U.S. He called me for directions because he was "as lost as Hogan's goat."


Another Lost Goat

"I heard a guy say that someone was "as lost a Hogan's Goat", and my search for answers brought me here. He was born in West Texas in the early 1940's, but has lived in the South East most of his life. He is also a well travelled private pilot."


A New Twist with Hogan's Goat

"I can't recall when I first heard the phrase but it has always been,"Tied up like Hogan's goat." I use it in my work as a physical therapist in an acute care hospital. I.V. lines, catheters, oxygen tubing.. "If you don't slow down Sir, we'll end up tied up like Hogan's goat." I'm located in a Kansas City, Missouri suburb where we treat folks from all over the country who live in a large retirement village in town. A Michigan native asked me today who Hogan was and I promised I'd try to find out. It seems to be sparsely recognized but a great laugh and conversation starter for my patients. I really like the Norse myth... that is the story I'll be sharing with my patients. Anyway wasn't it Bill Grogan's goat who was feeling fine and ate the 3 red shirts?"


World War Two Patrol Boat Information Sought

"During WWII my father, Paul Wallace, served in a small boat (5 man crew) named Hogan's Goat. This boat was part of a fake invasion along the French coast that was supposed to draw attention away from the real invasion. They strung tin foil on lines between the boats to make them seem bigger to the Germans. The Navy apparently didn't expect any of the boats to survive. Dad's boat did, and did mail duty in the Mediterranean for at least part of the war. The Captain's name was Poet. If anyone out there knows more about this, please let me know. I have pictures of the boat and crew to share." e-mail: )

-Sue Wallace

Another Goat Comment

"I was raised in west central Missouri and f***ed up worse than Hogan's goat was one of the standard curses we learned as adolescents in the 50s. Later replaced by "snafu" in the 60s & "fubar" in the 70s. Or "bohica" (bend over here it comes again) from the 90s. Funny I never wondered about Hogan until now. I just assumed it was a phrase brought back by the vets from Big 2 (WWII) like a great many others, most of which cannot be repeated in todays pc world. Wonderful site btw.."


A Goat Note

"I was born and raised in west central Missouri and I have always heard it as 'Locked up tighter than Hogan's goat'"

-Bill Buchholtz

Another Goat Opinion

"My father, who was in the USN as a cook, and myself, I was in submarines, both had the idea that "f***** up like Hogan's Goat, was the goat was basically the dumbest animal there was and its whole philosophy was "If you can't eat, fight it, or F*** it, P*ss on it" and that's what it did to all of this mythical "hogan's" stuff."

-Padre Mellryn

An Olden Goat

"In WWII I had a pet goat named Hogan."

-M Freely

The Saying That Goats On and On

"I was in a bar tonight and someone said f***** up as Hogan's Goat. My wife said "My husband says that all the time and looked at me." I replied "I don't know why I say it, I've said it since I was in the Navy." Now retired.. 1961-1990 USN.."


That Immortal Goat

"I heard it commonly in the USAF during the 50s and 60s. My father-in-law used to say it on appropriate occasion, like when the Jeep would break down off road, and he spent his time in the Navy during the mid-30s."

-R. Thomas

That Inscrutable Goat

"So, no one seems to know the origins of the phrase! Well, all I can say is 'that's just as F&*#ed up as Hogan's goat!'"

-LtCol B. Norquist USMC

Ah yes, Colonel, but don't you think the whole thing would lose it's charm if we knew the answer? Thanks for posting.

He Had Goat Manners

"My dad was a PFC Marine in the Pacific during WW II. From him I learned the phrase "That's more messed up than Hogan's goat." He never hesitated to cuss, but I can't recall hearing the f-word ever pass his lips."

-Woody's Daughter

A Goat Reference

"When stationed onboard The USS Oklahoma City in the early 1990's, our captain said in reference to a particularly badly run drill "That's as f***ed up as Hogan's goat". I've remembered this and have often thought of it over the years. This phrase spread all over the boat because nobody had ever heard it before. We concluded that he must have been speaking of a goat that had figured into the plot of an episode of Hogan's Hero's that we had all missed."

-N. Hiley

Coulter's Believe it or Not!

"First let me give you the song "Bill Grogan's Goat": "Bill Grogan's Goat was feeling fine Ate three red shirts from off the line. Bill took a stick, gave him a whack, And tied him to the railroad track. The whistle blew, the train grew nigh, Bill Grogan's goat was doomed to die. He gave three groans of awful pain, Coughed up the shirts and flagged the train!" Next, the real story about "Hogan's Goat": According to Robert Schwebke, who grew up in Miami, in 1942 there was a Hogan's Market on SW 8th St (Tamiami Trail) near 17th Ave, which was like a farmer's market, run by a Ray Hogan. (Bob went to Shenandoah grade school with Ray Jr.). Behind the market, Mr Hogan kept goats, one of which had a short 5th hind leg. Every time the goat peed, he peed on the 5th leg. This provided great amusement for the neighborhood boys, and Bob still (2008) remembers it well. Bob first heard the well known expression in San Diego circa 1947 while in the Navy, and is convinced that the goat in question is the goat he remembers behind Hogan's Market. During WWII, there were many US Navy personnel in and around Miami, and that would explain why the expression has roots in Navy lore. Believe it or not!"

-Bob Coulter USNA '55

We Did a Goat Deed!

"My grandfather was born in 1883 and when I was little he sang this song to me. I could not remember the words, only that it was about a goat eating red shirts off the clothesline. I never knew the name. I now have great-grandchildren. I really appreciate each person who put the words to this on this site. I have each version printed out so I can teach the song to my little ones. This has put a lot of wondering to rest. Again, I thank you very much and also I do know that I was blessed to have a grandfather who loved me so much."

-Sara Luksic

A "Billick" Goat, Perhaps?

"Listening to the Redskin vs Lions game today we noted Brian Billick, former coach of the Baltimore Ravens use the phrase "messed up as Hogan's Goat". Maybe we can get him to explain it."


A Variation of a Goat Theme

"I received an email from one of my six brothers today. He was telling me about a project he is on that is "screwy as Hogan's Goat". I am sure he does not normally say "screwy", but cleaned it up for my benefit! I had never heard it before, did a search and found your site. Very interesting!"


Gramps Settles a Goat Argument

"I come from a large family and there was always rivalry between the different uncles who served in different branches of the service. My army uncle, who is a kind of family historian and often held the money on bets, was relating a story to me about a fight between two of the other uncles and a large sum of money he gained over the source of Hogan's Goat sayings. Finally they called long distance, not cheap in those days, to Grandpa to settle the argument. The Navy uncle was saying it was a mascot the other, a Marine, was saying it was political, which seems to agree with some of your references. I can't remember all the details as it's been over 40 years since I heard the story. I do recall Gramps saying 'No, no, it was around when he was a child in Ireland in the mid 1800s' and had been around much longer than he could recall with people picking it up and using it because it fit. I can remember wondering so where it came from. Since both uncles were wrong the older Army uncle kept the money and it became a 'bone of contention' for years."


He Had Goat Luck

"My Dad was a USN pilot during WW2. He told me his aircraft, a Consolidated PB4Y-1 Liberator, was named 'Hogan's Goat' by his plane commander while in Europe and that it meant 'the plane had lots of problems'... but in his was good luck. He must have had a great ground crew because he retired after 30 years service and with over 60,000 flight hours. He passed away from old age in 2005."

-Steve Matthewson

A Goat Comparison?

"What about the phrase "Tighter Than Dick's Hatband". Who is this "Dick" feller, and why was his hatband so tight?"

-Grant Mayo

(Thank-you for your comment. We could ask about Dick and his hatband. And, hey, while we're at it, we could ask who the welldigger was and why was his you-know-what so cold. But we'll have to leave those two mysteries for someone else's page. This page is exclusively dedicated to the one and only goat! Take care.)

A Goat Answer to the Vexed Question

"Being in the military I have heard this term a lot and was curious as to the origin. Doing a little digging around the net, Wiki explained the Hogan's Goat play. The term Hogan's goat had nothing to do with the animal as many had suggested. You were right with your last guess. Although the prior mentioned comics probably used an allegory (I think is the right term) about Hogan's goat for humor. The term originates from the 1890 play by William Alfred, Hogan's Goat as you had mentioned. Hogan's goat refers to Mathew Statton. Statton was running for political office and was once a "kept man" or "goat" (term used back then) of Agnes Hogan hence Hogan's goat. In 1890, this was scandalous. It was leaked by his opponent, Quinn, and that ruined his political career. I believe this led to the phrase stinks like Hogan's goat and for added emphasis became F$%@ up like Hogan's goat. I guess the question is why did this phrase get picked up in the military but forgotten in the civilian world? Was this play/movie shown a lot to soldiers for entertainment?"


The Goat of the Deep

"I was assigned to a nuclear missile submarine during the early 1970's. My supervisor, Wally, used the "F'ed up as" phrase whenever he was disgusted with some situation that occured. I think most of the junior sailors, including me, assumed this was just "Navy jargon", one of the many descriptive Navy terms for life as a sailor! No explanation for the exact meaning of this term was ever offered or requested since the tone of its dramatic delivery usually fit the circumstance exceedingly well."

-Gerry Pollack

Boeing's Goat

"The Americans used the Boeing B29 "Superfortress" to do much bombing in WWII."Hogan's Goat" was one that crash-landed on the reef at Fais. Hence the term: "F**d Up Like Hogan's Goat".

-Capt. Nick Macsata, US Army

(Thank-you for your comment. Of course we already knew about the B-29 named "Hogan's Goat" and have a reference to it nearer to the top of the page. However, it's always nice to remind everyone, once in a while, about a fascinating goat story. Take care.)

A Highland Goat?!?

I heard the Hogan's Goat saying while sitting in a smelt shack on the Androscoggin River on February 27th, 2009. My friend used the phrase and I quickly asked its origin. He referred to the goat who raided all the gardens. I found this site when I went looking for an answer and forwarded this page to my friend. He called this morning and sang the the words of the Goat who ate the red shirts. He reported that are are more verses BUT that goat was named the HIGHLAND GOAT!

-John Holmes

Dad's Goat Impression

My dad used the expression as f***ed as Hogan's goat only around us boys and only at times when things did not go as planned. He was a WWII vet, and knowing his background, I imagine he learned the term in the service, or from an older brother who was in the navy. Amusingly, even now, when things go awry they are as f***ed up as Hogan's goat.

-Fred K.

Quite the Goat

This is my favorite phrase !- I heard a another guy on a construction site say " This place is as F#$%^&%ed up as Hogan's Goat when he ate the Barbed Wire". So Hogan's Goat must have been quite a Goat!...

-Fred K.

Everyone Has an Opinion

"F***** up as Hogan's goat.... He has 2 AS******"

-Bill S.(

It was a Goat Drunk

"Hello, I served on the Saratoga in the early 70's and heard this referenced to being drunk as in "drunker than Hogan's Goat". Never thought much about the origin but this phrase was used to mean something that could not function at all. "

-Mike Curry

Stop and Goat

"My Mom just used the term "stopped up as Hogan's Goat" when the oncologist told her to take 2 Immodium after every loose bowel movement.(She's 81 with rectal cancer). I would almost bet she heard this term from my Dad, who served in the Navy in the 1940's. He was always "F***** up as Hogan's Goat", more ways than one. Thanx for all these comments, got a great deal of laughter out of them."

-Kathy Martin

Another Goat One

"I was in the navy from 1951 to 1954 and while on a sub tender (USS Fulton) I frequently heard the expression 'I'm as f***ed up as Hogan's Goat: one horn, one nut, can't f***, can't fight'."

-Gene Hull

That Enduring Goat and More!

"In the late 30's and early 40's we sang Hogan's Goat while we were hiking as a Boy Scout. On going to boot camp at Parris Island we heard f*** up like Hogan's Goat daily but we also heard "f***up like a Chinese fire drill" and "raining like a cow p****** on a flat rock" and "take a flying f*** at a rolling donut". Strange how those obscentities stick with one."

-Don Lawson

(I thought I heard 'em all but that last one takes the cake! Thanks for sharing. Take care.)

Keeping up the Goat Looks

"I had a football coach in college who grew up in Missouri and he used to say 'Tim, without a clean shave, you look like Hogan's goat...' Insert any unkempt appearance and if it was up to his par, you looked like Hogan's goat. I'm assuming the Irish potato farmer/moonshiner's goat looked pretty unkempt most of the time, so I'm going to stick with that explanation whenever my own players ask me now. Cheers!"


The True Goat

"As kids we worked for an old NYS farmer who hayed and raised pigs and goats. His name was James Hogan. We hayed in the late summer to earn some money. There was one goat mounted anything higher in the barnyard. When entering the yard he would attack, bite and butt relentlessly at anything. He would go out of his way to come after you. Cars, trucks, machinery, it made no difference. Old man Hogan said he was “disturbed”. “ Hogan said “The dumb SOB won’t even mate, now that’s one screwed up animal!” So from then one we all said that guy, situation, etc is more screwed up than Hogans Goat. A True Story"

-Shamus McQuade

That Crazy Goat

" I heard that there was once an outfitter in Alaska named Hogan who always carried a goat with him on every hunt. The reason the goat always went with him is because the goat always knew his way back to the camp and never got lost or disoriented. On one particular hunting trip with some clients Old Man Hogan's Goat ate some mushrooms "shrooms" that "screwed" him up. The old man and the other hunters became lost due to the goat getting high. This is where the term "lost as Hogan's Goat" and "screwed up as Hogan's Goat" came from."

-Trent Robertson

A Family's Special Goat Bond

"When we were kids, my father sang "Old Hogan's Goat" so many times that it became the family "song". Dad had been in the Navy in WWII and maybe that's where he first heard the song. When my father passed away, my sisters and I sang the song as a tribute to my Dad at the reception after his funeral. All the grandkids know the song too, so it will probably go on..and on...and on!."

-Janet Wise

Cory's Story

"I used to work for a guy that referred to inferior employees as being "lost as Hogan's goat". Worked with another guy that once told a manager, upon being accused of lying: 'If I tell you a chicken will pick cotton, you better hand that m********er a bag'. What??"

-Cory Hill

Thanks for the Memories

"As F/U as Hogans Goat ! 'One of the most used phrases in existence'. 'Probably found in the bluejackets manual' Often exclaimed by Officers and Men in describing one another. (Under their breath) :-)The 'F' word probably surpassed 'Hogan' in use and for those who could not read light be it known it was commonly blinked as F,,,U,,, for apparently no reason at all except as devilment. practice and a general indication of just where the fellow stood on everything. 'The whole nine yards' usually went along with it indicating what one day the other planned to stick 'where the sun don't shine!' Those were the good old days !"

-William Owens JR. SM3/C U.S. Navy WWII

Some More Goat Information

"Ted Krueger (see above) is in error about the nine yards for a Scotsman's shirt. The clothing in question was a Great Kilt (a philamor). Six yards of woollen fabric were pleated for the skirt of the kilt and belted around the waist. The remaining three yards were looped over the shoulder and secured with a brooch to produce the plaid, which also served as a carryall."

-Mark Sevier

A Goat Friend's Advice

"I've always said if you find yourself in a hole stop digging. Will C., If you continue you"ll be as F***** up as HOGANS GOAT you stupid B******."

-Chet W.

Eddie Hogan's Goat

"My last name is Hogan, but I never heard the expression - more f***ed up than Hogan's goat - until I went into the Marine Corps in 1968. Fellow Marines asked me where it came from but I had no idea. As a kid, I did hear Hogan's Alley used often. If we kids had trashed the house, or our rooms were messy, my Mom would say, 'Clean this place up. It looks like Hogan's Alley in here.'"

-Eddie Hogan

The Hole Truth

"Great Goats! I've most often heard this term to agree with the Irish potato farmer and his tipsy beast. However, reading here reminds me of Jerry Clower's goat story. Seems a couple old boys were out walking through the woods looking for a place to hunt and came across a huge hole in the ground. Neither recalled having seen the hole before and they wondered how deep it was. They decided to drop something in and listen for it to hit the bottom. Looking around, they found a rock and dropped it in. No sound came back. They tried a deadfall tree branch with similar results. Perplexed, they looked for something larger to toss in the hole, and eventually came upon a section of railroad track. Both men on one end lifted the rail and flopped it over the side of the hole and they leaned over watching it fall in. Suddenly a big red goat lunged over a hedge and dove headlong into the hole right between the two fellas. Amazed, they looked at one another wondering what it meant. In almost no time, a farmer came walking along and asked if they'd seen a big red goat. They told him they'd just seen a goat run past them and jump down this hole right in front of them for no apparent reason. The farmer was amazed, because he said he'd chained that old goat to an eight-foot section of railroad track! Makes me wonder if the farmer was named Hogan."

-David 'Old Salt' Hambleton

PT Goat

"To Joy: I also remember the Hogans Goat as a kid when my Dad took me fishing in Deale, Maryland. It was rumored to be a PT boat. I Remember it just sat there for years."

-JD Miller

Double the Trouble

When I was in the Navy with squadron VQ2 in Rota Spain in 1958 and 1959, I continuously heard the expression, "You're as f***ed up as Hogan's two peckered goat." I have never heard a single explanation for the expression's meaning until I came to this website. Anyway, I do think a two peckered goat would be pretty confused."

-Larry Croft

That Flyin' Sea-Goat

I flew with Navy squadron VQ-1 in the western Pacific in the late 80's. Yes, the phrase "F***ed up as Hogan goat" was used, and also another "goat" saying (unrelated, I'm sure, to the Navy tradition of referring to the Chief Petty Officers' lounge as the "goat locker"). When anyone had been really fortunate, it was said that they were "luckier than a nine-peckered goat in a screwing contest."

-Bruce B

Grogan's Goat

"Bill Grogan's Goat" was one of the songs in "John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano", which was used by millions of American children for beginning piano lessons from the 1920s to the present.

-John B.

Carol's Caprine Childhood Chanson

"Learned this song while a little girl in Bridgeport, Conn beginning of WWII. Bridgeport was a huge naval shipyard: 'My billy goat was feeling fine, Ate 3 red shirts right off the line. I took a stick and broke his back, Then tied him to a railroad track. A swift express was coming neigh My billy goat was doomed to die. He gave three shrieks, three shrieks of pain, Coughed up the shirts, and flagged the train.'"

-Carol Short

A Goat Paradox

"While in Washington State, working on a crew in a foundry, someone made reference to my as being "..hung like Hogan's goat." I've always wondered just what that might mean. I assumed it was a compliment!"


The New Hogan's Goat Hotline (This thing was unserviceable for God knows how long before I found out. Messages will now reach me but I still have to work out a bug or two in the code.)
The New Hogan's Goat Hotline

Your Name
Yes! Here is my Hogan's Goat Story:
Image Verification
Please enter the text from the image
[ Refresh Image ] [ What's This? ]

Please note that anything submitted may be published on this page usually within twenty-four hours. Things submitted may also be subject to minor editing where the meaning of the story will not be affected. Also, if you want a reply, please include your e-mail address as this function does not automatically include it. Also, to see recently submitted posts you might have to delete your browser history and reload to get the updated webpage.

Fapulous. Elinor Busby, 2852 14th Avenue, West,
Seattle 99 WA
no. 1 (subtitle: Faphelion) (Aug. 1959)
no. 2 (subtitle: Fapoose) (Nov. 1959)
no. 3 (subtitle: Faprehensive) (n.d.)
no. 4 (subtitle: Like Hogan's Goat) (Oct. 1959)
no. 7 (subtitle: Fappendage) (n.d.)

"William Alfred's Hogan's Goat: Power and Poetry in
Brooklyn." Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural
Studies, 19 (1994), 451-89

In case anyone's interested, the ragtime tune playing in the background is Joseph Lamb's "American Beauty Rag"

Last Edited on 26 Dec., 2016