do own thing


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.

do one's (own) thing

To do what one is interested in or skilled at, rather than simply doing what everyone else does. You don't have to go to med school just because your sister did—you need to do your own thing. Andrea is very independent and usually just does her own thing.
See also: thing

do (one's) own thing

Slang
To do what one does best or finds most enjoyable: "I get paid to try cases and to do my thing on trial" (Bruce Cutler).
See also: own, thing

do one's own thing, to

To find self-expression or self-fulfillment in some activity. Although this term is very old indeed—numerous references can be found in Chaucer, as in The Merchant’s Tale (“where as they doon hir thynges”)—it became hackneyed during the 1960s. Rebelling against the establishment, the unconventional “dropped out” of society and joined communes where they would “do their own thing.” One might wonder how many of them were familiar with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay, Self-Reliance (1841), in which he said, “I have difficulty to detect the precise man you are. . . . But do your own thing and I shall know you.”
See also: own