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Wild Oats

He is sowing his wild oats—indulging the buoyant folly of youth; living in youthful dissipation. The idea is that the mind is a field of good oats, but these pranks are wild oats or weeds sown amongst the good seed, choking it for a time, and about to die out and give place to genuine corn. The corresponding French phrase is “Jeter ses premiers faux, ” which reminds us of Cicero's expression, “Nondum illi deferbuit adolescentia. ” (See Oats.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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