strut one's stuff

strut

1 [struht]
verb (used without object), strutted, strutting.
1.
to walk with a vain, pompous bearing, as with head erect and chest thrown out, as if expecting to impress observers.
noun
2.
the act of strutting.
3.
a strutting walk or gait.
Idioms
4.
strut one's stuff, to dress, behave, perform, etc., one's best in order to impress others; show off.

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English strouten to protrude stiffly, swell, bluster, Old English strūtian to struggle, derivative of *strūt (whence Middle English strut strife)

strutter, noun


1. parade, flourish. Strut and swagger refer especially to carriage in walking. Strut implies swelling pride or pompousness; to strut is to walk with a stiff, pompous, seemingly affected or self-conscious gait: A turkey struts about the barnyard. Swagger implies a domineering, sometimes jaunty, superiority or challenge, and a self-important manner: to swagger down the street.
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World English Dictionary
strut (strʌt)
 
vb , struts, strutting, strutted
1.  (intr) to walk in a pompous manner; swagger
2.  (tr) to support or provide with struts
3.  informal strut one's stuff to behave or perform in a proud and confident manner; show off
 
n
4.  a structural member used mainly in compression, esp as part of a framework
5.  an affected, proud, or stiff walk
 
[C14 strouten (in the sense: swell, stand out; C16: to walk stiffly), from Old English strūtian to stand stiffly; related to Low German strutt stiff]
 
'strutter
 
n
 
'strutting
 
adj
 
'struttingly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

strut
"walk in a vain, important manner," O.E. strutian "to stand out stiffly," from P.Gmc. *strut- (cf. Dan. strutte, Ger. strotzen "to be puffed up, be swelled," Ger. Strauß "fight"), from PIE base *ster- "strong, firm, stiff, rigid" (see
sterile). Originally of the air or the attitude; modern sense, focused on the walk, first recorded 1518. Cognate with O.E. ðrutung "anger, arrogance" (see throat). To strut (one's) stuff is black slang, first recorded 1926, from strut as the name of a dance popular from c.1900.

strut
"supporting brace," 1587, perhaps from strut (v.), or a cognate word in O.N. or Low Ger. (cf. Low Ger. strutt "rigid"); ultimately from P.Gmc. *strutoz-, from root *strut- (see strut (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

strut one's stuff

Behave or perform in an ostentatious manner, show off, as in The skaters were out, strutting their stuff. This expression uses strut in the sense of "display in order to impress others." [Slang; first half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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