canoe

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paddle one's own canoe

Fig. to do something by oneself; to be alone. I've been left to paddle my own canoe too many times. Sally isn't with us. She's off paddling her own canoe.
See also: canoe, paddle

paddle your own canoe

  (informal)
to be independent and not need help from anyone else We hoped that after he left college he'd paddle his own canoe.
See also: canoe, paddle

paddle one's own canoe

Be independent and self-reliant, as in It's time Bill learned to paddle his own canoe. This idiom alludes to steering one's own boat. [c. 1800]
See also: canoe, paddle
References in classic literature ?
As Ned remarked, it did look like a camping party, for in the canoes were tents, cooking utensils and, most important, mosquito canopies of heavy netting.
Following Malbihn's instructions they launched all the canoes but one.
Approach, Mohegan,” said Marmaduke; “approach, Leather-Stocking, and load your canoe with bass.
Twelve, fifteen, eighteen months would often elapse without any tidings of them, when they would come sweeping their way down the Ottawa in full glee, their canoes laden down with packs of beaver skins.
Having reached the spot marked by a line of light-green rushes, we poled out two canoes through them for some hundreds of yards, and eventually emerged into a placid and shallow stream, running clear and transparent over a sandy bottom.
At each shot a warrior sank to the bottom of the canoe or tumbled overboard.
All went well until the canoe had passed beyond the reef.
Yet three months did it take me to make a canoe--a small canoe, a very small canoe.
We did not see many natives until we were near Ponsonby Sound, where we were followed by ten or twelve canoes.
After we had dined, or rather supped, I ordered Friday to take one of the canoes, and go and fetch our muskets and other firearms, which, for want of time, we had left upon the place of battle; and the next day I ordered him to go and bury the dead bodies of the savages, which lay open to the sun, and would presently be offensive.
Heyward yielded the guidance of the canoe implicitly to the scout, who approached or receded from the shore, to avoid the fragments of rocks, or deeper parts of the river, with a readiness that showed his knowledge of the route they held.
I took the sack of corn meal and took it to where the canoe was hid, and shoved the vines and branches apart and put it in; then I done the same with the side of bacon; then the whisky-jug.
Here I put in my canoe, and climbing a part of the rock, I could plainly discover land to the east, extending from south to north.
So he went on with winged feet till he came to the shores of a great lake, with a lovely island in the middle of it; while on the bank of the lake was a canoe of glittering stone, and in the canoe were two shining paddles.
This gave Van Horn the advantage over the approaching canoe-men, for the lantern, suspended through the barbed wire across the rail and well down, would clearly illuminate the occupants of the canoe while he was left in semi-darkness and shadow.