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 can be 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: off, reservation
References in periodicals archive ?
But then he went off the reservation and went bats- crazy," Cuban said.
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.
In his speech, Ballmer decided to brag about all the money he is making for Microsoft, but unlike his more carefully prepared industry speeches, Ballmer went off the reservation and discussed some interesting topics, including what it will take to get a pro basketball team back in Seattle.
She got the entire country's sympathies when her presidential dad went off the reservation with a Beverly Hills bimbo.