off the reservation

off the reservation

1. 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 seems content to remain largely off the reservation, as if they are beholden to no form of authority.
2. Different or contrary to the accepted norm. The vice president seems to be off the reservation regarding his views on legalizing marijuana.
See also: off, reservation

off the reservation

Beyond acceptable limits. This term, which dates from about 1900, alludes to Native Americans who leave their assigned tracts of land, which could be dangerous. In politics, according to William Safire, to go off the reservation acquired a special meaning: to refuse to support a party’s candidate but still remain in the party. President Harry S. Truman so used it in referring to Southern Democrats who refused to support Al Smith in the 1928 election, thereby gaining support for Herbert Hoover.
See also: off, reservation
References in periodicals archive ?
Agenda topics include Native American sovereignty and governance; health care and energy in Indian country; addressing drug crime and activity on, near and off the reservation; school board governance; addiction and recovery; and the upcoming 2019 legislative session.
Guadagnino gets a lot right, even as he wanders off the reservation into local politics and a bit of stunt casting.
"Navajo parents share their sadness, explaining that when they moved off the reservation, they feared a loss of their language, their culture and, for some, their identity," says Superintendent Eugene Schmidt.
It's instead delivering the water to a site off the reservation for tribal members to pick up.
I don't think people understand that the groundwork has been laid to enforce tribal court custody orders off the reservation, he told Minnesota Lawyer.
If he is not handled properly he will go off the reservation."
But Mayor Dyster knew, numerous sources on and off the reservation confirmed this week.
But then he went off the reservation and went bats- crazy," Cuban said.
Or we went completely off the reservation and ended up in ashrams or eating cheeseburgers on Yom Kippur, and spending lifetimes in therapy.
Milroy reported from the Washington Territory: "I had the board to lay off the reservation into seven road districts, and to appoint a road supervisor in each, whom I instructed in their duties in relation to warning out the able-bodied men of their districts, opening and constructing roads and bridges, keeping the same in repair."
The research giant this month moved into the commercial stage for a service that will track what consumers watch by picking up audio cues that detect when viewers go "off the reservation" of linear TV.
The Yakama Nation in Washington state recently banned marijuana on the reservation and is trying to halt state regulated pot sales and grows on lands off the reservation where it still holds hunting and fishing rights.
"As duck hunters, we mostly had Labs but we also had some goldens, and at one point we kind of went off the reservation and got a German shorthaired pointer.
Those who reported living off the reservation for some period of time were least likely to use the drug.