oar

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stick (one's) oar in(to) (something)

1. To offer or express one's opinion (on some matter), even though it was not asked for or desired. Primarily heard in UK. I don't know why you feel you have to stick your oar into every dispute Terry and I are having. The members of the board are perfectly capable of arriving at a decision of their own accord, so I'll thank you for not sticking your oar in, Tom.
2. To involve oneself in an intrusive or nosy manner into something that is not one's business or responsibility. Primarily heard in UK. I wish my neighbors would quit sticking their oars in and just leave us alone! Liam, don't stick your oar into your brother's affairs—he can manage well enough on his own.
See also: oar, stick

rest on (one's) oars

To relax after achieving a goal or doing a physically strenuous activity (such as rowing, as the phrase suggests). I know you're happy to have won the election, but you can't just rest on your oars—you need to start planning your first act as class president now. After painting all morning, I had to rest on my oars for a bit before I moved on to the next room.
See also: oar, on, rest

put (one's) oar in(to) (something)

1. To offer or express one's opinion (on some matter), even though it was not asked for or desired. I don't know why you feel you have to put your oar into every dispute Terry and I are having. The members of the board are perfectly capable of arriving at a decision of their own accord, so I'll thank you for not putting your oar in, Tom.
2. To involve oneself in an intrusive or nosy manner into something that is not one's business or responsibility. I wish my neighbors would quit putting their oars in and just leave us alone! Liam, don't put your oar into your brother's affairs—he can manage well enough on his own.
See also: oar, put

have just one oar in the water

Rur. to not be thinking clearly. Tom has some crazy plan for opening his own restaurant. If you ask me, he has just one oar in the water. She has just one oar in the water if she thinks Bill is going to pay any attention to her.
See also: have, just, oar, one, water

put one's oar in

 and stick one's oar in; put one's two cents(' worth) in
Fig. to add one's comments or opinion, even if unwanted or unasked for. You don't need to put your oar in. I don't need your advice. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have stuck my oar in when you were arguing with your wife. Do you mind if I put in my oar? I have a suggestion. There is no need for you to put in your two cents' worth.
See also: oar, put

put one's oar in

Interfere with something or insert one's opinion, as in I'll thank you not to put your oar in when we're discussing a private matter. This term, referring to helping to row a boat, was first recorded in Charles Coffey's 1731 play The Devil to Pay: "I will govern my own house without your putting in an oar."
See also: oar, put

put your oar in (something)

or

stick your oar in (something)

mainly BRITISH, INFORMAL
If someone puts their oar in or sticks their oar in, they interfere in a situation or an argument. He let them say what they wanted to say without feeling the need to put his oar in; he is obviously a good listener. He should try to sort out his own affairs instead of sticking his oar in other people's business. Note: This comes from an old expression `to have an oar in every man's boat', meaning to interfere in other people's business.
See also: oar, put

rest on your oars

or

lean on your oars

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If a person or organization rests on their oars or leans on their oars, they do not work hard enough to make sure that they remain successful or get things done. The company has been resting on its oars and its competitors are catching up. Firms often take their time over making necessary changes, leaning on their oars while another study is done and another year goes by.
See also: oar, on, rest

keep both oars in the water

maintain a calm equilibrium in your life and affairs.
See also: both, keep, oar, water

rest on your oars

1 cease rowing by leaning on the handles of your oars, thereby lifting them horizontally out of the water. 2 relax your efforts.
A US variant of this phrase is lay on your oars .
See also: oar, on, rest

stick (or poke or put or shove) your oar in

give an opinion or advice without being asked. informal
1992 Daily Telegraph My only minor fault is I sometimes like putting my oar in…and my advice can be a little brutal.
See also: oar, stick

put/stick your ˈoar in

(British English, informal) interfere in the affairs of other people: This project is nothing to do with Dave. Why does he keep trying to stick his oar in all the time?
See also: oar, put, stick
References in classic literature ?
The vessels were indeed so far apart now that the Genoese could use the full sweep of their oars, and draw away rapidly from the cog.
Alice echoed in a tone that was half astonished and half frightened--for the oars, and the boat, and the river, had vanished all in a moment, and she was back again in the little dark shop.
And now I thought myself pretty well freighted, and began to think how I should get to shore with them, having neither sail, oar, nor rudder; and the least capful of wind would have overset all my navigation.
I did my utmost, by setting my back against the chests, to keep them in their places, but could not thrust off the raft with all my strength; neither durst I stir from the posture I was in; but holding up the chests with all my might, I stood in that manner near half-an-hour, in which time the rising of the water brought me a little more upon a level; and a little after, the water still-rising, my raft floated again, and I thrust her off with the oar I had into the channel, and then driving up higher, I at length found myself in the mouth of a little river, with land on both sides, and a strong current of tide running up.
Then the oars were got out, and the boats forming in a line moved round her remains as if in procession--the long-boat leading.
We drag at the oars with aching arms, and suddenly a puff of wind, a puff faint and tepid and laden with strange odors of blossoms, of aromatic wood, comes out of the still night--the first sigh of the East on my face.
My men dropped the oars and fell off the thwarts as if dead.
A splashing of oars, a measured dip reverberating on the level of water, intensified by the silence of the shore into loud claps, made me jump up.
I had no mast or sail in mine, but I made a mast out of a spare oar and hoisted a boat-awning for a sail, with a boat-hook for a yard.
So by dint of punching and kicking I started one of my men into a state of somnambulism, and giving him an oar, took another and pulled towards the lights of the steamer.
In the excitement of getting into the other boat, unfastening it, and mastering an oar, Bob was not struck with the danger Maggie incurred.
he exclaimed, suddenly lifting the light of his lanthorn on Maggie, as she stood in the rain with the oar in her hand and her black hair streaming.
The whole thing had been so rapid, so dreamlike, that the threads of ordinary association were broken; she sank down on the seat clutching the oar mechanically, and for a long while had no distinct conception of her position.
She seized an oar and began to paddle the boat forward with the energy of wakening hope; the dawning seemed to advance more swiftly, now she was in action; and she could soon see the poor dumb beasts crowding piteously on a mound where they had taken refuge.
And whilst D'Artagnan uttered a cry, Porthos raised the oar, and Aramis sought a place to strike, a frightful shake given to the boat precipitated Athos into the sea; whilst Mordaunt, with a shout of triumph, grasped the neck of his victim, and in order to paralyze his movements, twined arms and legs around the musketeer.