- to feel frisky or lively.
- to be aware of and use one's importance or power.
Origin of oat
Examples from the Web for oats
Oatmeal is made with extra-thick-cut Snoqualmie Falls oats, which pack a deep-roasted flavor.Spaghetti for Breakfast?! Not So Crazy at This Idaho Farm Café|Jane & Michael Stern|August 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In their unadulterated form, oats are pretty much free of simple sugars.
Call them Trojan horse foods: nutritiously pleasing ingredients (oats, yogurts) that conceal a whole host of junk.
Stir in the oats, nuts, coconut, and the flour mixture, do not overmix.
In sum, many Chinese leaders, businessmen and youth are feeling their oats.
I reckon she was feelin' her oats, visitin' at the Senator's house.Partners of Chance|Henry Herbert Knibbs
The devil ran in the morning to the oats-field, but the oats were all cut down.
Ranks fourth in wheat and barley, sixth in hay, eighth in oats.Alden's Handy Atlas of the World|John B. Alden
Wheat is the chief grain crop, but large quantities of barley and oats are also grown.
The farmer caught up a huge flail with which he was wont to thresh out his oats.Hunted and Harried|R.M. Ballantyne
- 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.
see feel one's oats; sow one's wild oats.