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]

QUIZZES

DON’T VACILLATE! VANQUISH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

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Question 1 of 7
What does “vacillate” mean?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.