Under My Own Steam

When I’m out & about, I often say something lightly that elicits gazes of perplexion upon the hearers complexion.  Hence- UNDER MY OWN STEAM.  Anyone out there familiar with this one?  Let me know, thanks.

under my own steam

4 thoughts on “Under My Own Steam

  1. Mmmm — I don’t say it, but I assume it means “using my own resources” or “fending for myself.”

    I saw a nice little essay by Calvin Trillin recently that pointed out that the expression “all thumbs” has become obsolete now that young people can text lightning-fast using only those digits.

  2. Know it! – thinking about it, probably don’t use that much. Go and ‘blow off steam’ is still in use in this house (ever heard a large boiler do that? 🙂
    Technology has neat corollaries in colloquialisms (I’m quite used to getting perplexed gazes by now… 😉
    Steam has its share, as does electricity. Probably slowly added/displaced by today’s new technology.

  3. Surely originates fairly straightforwardly in the age of steam: either locomotives or ships. The Oxford English Dictionary has Joseph Conrad using the phrase in 1912. There’s also to let off steam; to run out of steam; to build up steam. I suppose we now move all this stuff over onto electricity: to pull the plug on; to spark; to power down.

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