feel one's oats, to

feel one's oats

Fig. to be very lively. Careful with that horse. He's feeling his oats today. Mary was feeling her oats and decided to go out dancing.
See also: feel, oat
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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

1. To be energetic and playful.
2. To act in a self-important manner.
See also: feel, oat
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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