under your own steam

This page is about the idiom under your own steam.

Meaning: If you do something under your own steam, you do it without anybody's help.

For example:

  • Don't worry about arranging transport for us. We can get there under our own steam.

  • Roger thinks he can get to the top under his own steam and doesn't think he needs a coach to help him.

Note: This idiom is usually used in relation to getting somewhere, either literally, as in getting to a place, or figuratively, as in getting to a goal or a target of some sort.

Origin: Probably related to the fact that trains, ships and machines in general used to be powered by steam. Doing something "under your own steam" would have been the equivalent of doing it under your own power.

Quick Quiz:

Can you get to the concert under you own steam, or would you

a. like to give me a lift?

b. like me to give you a lift?

c. like something that'll give you a lift?

Idiom of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey