Strain at the leash
What's the meaning of the phrase 'Strain at the leash'?
To strain at the leash is to be enthusiastic to free oneself from the restrictions that bar one's progress.
What's the origin of the phrase 'Strain at the leash'?
The allusion is, of course, to a dog held on a lead and straining to go faster. Sir Walter Scott was the first to use it in literature. He included the expression in The Talisman, 1825:
"King Richard looked... at the Nubian and his dog; but the former moved not, nor did the latter strain at the leash."
See also - phrases coined by Sir Walter Scott.