go off the reservation

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go off the reservation

1. To go or act outside the bounds of control, propriety, or acceptance of a given group. The phrase refers to the forced relocation of Native Americans to Indian reservations in the United States. Because of this origin, the phrase is often considered offensive or inappropriate. The youths in this area are going off the reservation more and more these days, disregarding anything they see as a form of authority.
2. To think or act differently or contrary to the accepted norm. The vice president seems to have gone off the reservation regarding his views on legalizing marijuana.
See also: go, off, reservation
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
When he goes off the reservation, he--like other storytellers he stands In for--sees the potential return grow in proportion to the conceptual distance traveled.
Unfortunately, she goes off the reservation with her conspiracy theory that standardized tests actually may be a vehicle for carrying out a covert political-power agenda under the guise of equal opportunity.