Lina Lin
how to understand "classes of sheep and goats?"? Hello! I was reading a book about education, and met the phrase. Here is the sentence "There is no grading by ability, actual or innate; intelligence tests are not used, except in Yugoslavia, and even there they are not used to grade the children into classes of sheep and goats." Do the words "sheep and goats" have another meaning there? Thank you!
Nov 26, 2017 1:01 PM
Answers · 4
I had the same idea as Peachey at first, thinking that it has to do with the use of sheep as people who follow blindly. But then I did a little research and found this idiom: separate the sheep from the goats. To be honest I've never heard it used before. It originates from the Bible and means dividing people or things into superior and inferior groups. Here's a site about it: https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/separate+the+sheep+from+the+goats There's even a sample sentence about students: When you choose the students for your homeroom, don't separate the sheep from the goats and give me all the troublemakers! Maybe your book is referring to this idiom?
November 26, 2017
Without any more context, here's what I think you want to know: sheep = people who follow directions willingly, and without question (there's a word: "sheeple", ie. sheep+people, which means a group of people who don't question anything.) goats = people who decide their own lives.
November 26, 2017
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