Hi, teachers,

What does the phrase of " a tethered goat" refer to ?

'that McGregor's ghostwriter, who has ghosted celebrity memoirs but never those of politicians, is being set up to be out of his depth - framed, in his own phrase, as "a tethered goat". '

thanks in advance
1 2
Comments  (Page 2) 

I've read the others responses over the years and the bait answer doesn't seem right. There is a tethered goat problem in math that has a goat tied to a post and the goat can eat all the grass he wants within limits of the tether; but as the movie character implies he can't have the depth to uncover the ground out of his reach that the previous ghost writer "McAra" found or so it would seem. So it would seem you had the answer the whole time. The writer, Polanski has a way of implying two meanings one being the obvious one that people take without question and the other that requires more work to attain. I guess that's why i like his films. I believe he wrote the ghost writer when he was detained in prison on an extradition problem from back in the 70's, but no need to dwell on this note. Re-watched this just the other day still a good movie. PML...

A tethered goat in the Royal Air Force is an aircraft flying as a target for a fighter aircraft to intercept and/or dogfight against. The target is supposed to make it hard but not impossible for the fighter to be successful. The target aircraft is flown by an experienced pilot or instructor who can judge just how hard to manoeuvre but still get beaten. The term has been in use at least as far back as the 1960s. The term can be used in sporting contexts where any coach plays at a standard just below the best of the trainee in order that the trainee successfully completes the exercise but has to work for it.

The term originated in India where tethered goats were used as bait for tiger hunts.

In all cases it means a target which is not meant to escape/survive.

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.