feel one's oats

Idioms & Phrases

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]

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