There is a timeless Sprint commercial with James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell where they say "Totes my goats!".


I am not native to American culture, so I googled it and didn't find much. So what is it anyway?

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    Here's what I can figure out: totes is probably a slang intensifier (from totally), and the phrase as a whole is some of my least favorite slang ever.
    – user230
    Jan 2, 2014 at 1:37
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    Totes means totally, and *G.O.A.T. means Greatest Of All Time. Jan 3, 2014 at 15:14
  • +1 for "annoying". I am not so sure it is spelled "goats." I usually see it as "gotes" (actually "magotes"). I always thought it morphed from "oh my god"/"omg".
    – horatio
    Jan 3, 2014 at 22:20
  • I read in the script the following "totes" and "Ryan is a total hottie McHotterson", and then "Totes McGotes" .. I think it's omg. Note: No way I would know these by myself without researching which I have not done, but I just checked the commercial after checking godel9's link and horatio's comment which makes the most sense. (FYI) I am not a native speaker.
    – learner
    Jan 4, 2014 at 19:05

4 Answers 4


Totes is a shortened form of totally, amplified with the common present-day slang suffix -s (compare, for instance, awks for awkward). It was documented on Urban Dictionary as early as 2003 and has probably been around considerably longer: totally itself was identified by F.Zappa and M.U.Zappa, (“Valley Girl”, 1982) as a core emphatic in Proto-Valspeak.

Totes magotes is an emphatic reduplicative form, comparable to easy-peasy or itty-bitty. Several sources attribute its first appearance, and perhaps its coinage, to the 2009 bromantic comedy I Love You, Man (but, again, it may have been around longer):

SYDNEY: You know what, we should jam together sometime, man.
PETER: Yeah! Totally! Totes magotes! Cool!

A comment on this very clip at YouTube clearly (and possibly ironically) demonstrates exactly the same formation processes at work on “crazily adorable”:

Totes McGotes, it's cray-cray adorbs. —TheAndrewj96

The suggestion by Damkerng T. and the source linked by fayalif, that the gotes piece represents G.O.A.T. = Greatest Of All Time is attractive and plausible. I suspect, however, that this is a retrospective folk etymology. Certainly most users betray no consciousness of this origin, spelling the syllable gote rather than goat.

ADDED, 10/23/14:
And now Eric Duft's answer establishes that the phrase was in use as early as 2001.

  • Thank you for the mentioning of cray-cray adorbs. Using that as a search term, I stumbled upon this interesting blog post: chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2012/01/20/…. Perhaps it is useful for others too. To me, it's quite eye-opening to read what young people (EY and MY in the post) think. I also learned that, to them, ending an online sentence with a period can appear ironic. :-) Jan 5, 2014 at 15:13

I haven't ever seen the movie I Love You Man. I had several friends that used the term back in 2001 and 2002. The same friends would use the term "cool beans" and "cool beans marines". The term "totes magotes" in synonym form means awesome or slang "sweet" or right on, or cool bro, right on man. For an example, person #1 says "I think I gotta drop some anchor man"; person #2 says "right on bro, have a good time." Foreign example: person #1 says "I think I gotta drop some anchor man"; person #2 says "totes magotes, have a good time."

  • Also in "School of Rock" 2003 starring Jack Black. totally bro. Loosely translated or similar slang but not exactness: right on bro, awesome, sweetnees, hell ya.
    – Erich Duft
    Oct 23, 2014 at 18:04

While I cannot authoritatively prove it, I think it is a nonsense phrase that is just meant to convey emotion in a meaningless way. Compare "Yahoo!" (the word, not the site) which derives from a degenerate species of humans in Gullivers' Travels but means excitement, and "All my eye and Betty Martin." which conveys an opinion that it's trash.


It can be considered as an exciting way of saying 'yes' or 'totally'. It is actually from a movie I Love You, Man.

You can have some more information from Urban Dictionary

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