- to feel frisky or lively.
- to be aware of and use one's importance or power.
Origin of oat
Examples from the Web for oat
Historical Examples of oat
We'd better get the money for the oat bill while it's in sight.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Then take them oat, drain, and cool them, and put them into a small tub.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
The only way I ever feel like pettin' that oat barrel,' I says, 'is with a rope's end.'Fair Harbor
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
In Bohemia the oat crop is, unfortunately, very bad this season.A Ghetto Violet
They keep their cows in the house in winter, feeding them upon hay and oat straw.A Tour in Ireland
- to feel exuberant
- to feel self-important
Word Origin for oat
Old English ate (plural atan) "grain of the oat plant, wild oats," of uncertain origin, possibly from Old Norse eitill "nodule," denoting a single grain, of unknown origin. The English word has cognates in Frisian and some Dutch dialects. Famously defined by Johnson as, "A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people."
The usual Germanic name is derived from Proto-Germanic *khabran (cf. Old Norse hafri, Dutch haver, source of haversack). Wild oats, "crop that one will regret sowing," is first attested 1560s, in reference to the folly of sowing these instead of good grain.
That wilfull and vnruly age, which lacketh rypenes and discretion, and (as wee saye) hath not sowed all theyr wyeld Oates. [Thomas Newton, "Lemnie's Touchstone of complexions," 1576]
Fred Sanford: I still want to sow some wild oats!
Lamont Sanford: At your age, you don't have no wild oats, you got shredded wheat.
["Sanford and Son"]
Hence, to feel (one's) oats "be lively," 1831, originally American English.