feel one's oats

feel (one's) oats

1. To be very active and energetic. The dog must be feeling his oats, considering how he's running around the yard today.
2. To be aware of one's own power or importance. If you sassed the boss like that, you must be feeling your oats!
See also: feel, oat
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

feel one's oats

1. Feel frisky or animated, as in School was out, and they were feeling their oats. This usage alludes to the behavior of a horse after having been fed. [Early 1800s]
2. Display self-importance, as in He was feeling his oats, bossing everyone around. [Mid-1800s]
See also: feel, oat
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

feel one's oats, to

To act frisky or lively. This saying, with its analogy to a horse that is lively after being fed, is American in origin and dates from the early nineteenth century. It appeared in print in Amos Lawrence’s Extracts from Diary and Correspondence (1833): “We both ‘feel our oats’ and our youth.”
See also: feel, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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