kick up one's heels

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Verb[edit]

to kick up one's heels (third-person singular simple present kicks up one's heels, present participle kicking up one's heels, simple past and past participle kicked up one's heels)

  1. Used other than as an idiom: see kick,‎ up,‎ one's,‎ heels.
    If a swimmer kicks up his heels and splashes the water, the judge will take points off accordingly.
  2. (figuratively) To dance.
    • 1852, Mary Henderson Eastman, Aunt Phillis's Cabin, Chapter XI:
      Above the peals of laughter with which the words were received, rose Jake's voice, "Come on, ole fiddler, play somefin a nigger kin kick up his heels to; what's de use of singing after dat fashion; dis aint no meetin."
    • 1881, James Greenwood, Low-Life Deeps, Chapter 16: A Cockney Holiday:
      He does not get on so well in the evening and night time, when his youthful audience has dispersed, and has been replaced by adults of the tag-rag and draggle-tail breed who have no taste for any tunes but those they can vigorously kick up their heels to, [] .
  3. (idiomatic) To relax; to enjoy oneself; to do as one pleases.
    • 1904, Henry James, The Golden Bowl, Chapter XVI:
      "Therefore he has a right, for a change, to 'kick up his heels?"
    • 1912, Eleanor Stackhouse Atkinson, Greyfriar's Bobby, Chapter XII:
      Everybody laughed, for he was a clumsy and comical beast to be decorated with roses and daisies. But the lady is proud of him, and now that pampered donkey has nothing to do but pull her Bath chair about, when she is at Holly Lodge, and kick up his heels on a clover pasture.
    • 1916, Vladimir Korolenko, Marian Fell (translator), The Day of Atonement:
      With a sum like that the fellow might easily kick up his heels, as the saying is, and run away, not only out of the village, but even out of the District.

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]