put one's oar in


Interfere with something or insert one's opinion, as in I'll thank you not to put your oar in when we're discussing a private matter. This term, referring to helping to row a boat, was first recorded in Charles Coffey's 1731 play The Devil to Pay: “I will govern my own house without your putting in an oar.”

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.