Feather one’s nest

Feather one’s nest is an idiom that has been in use for hundreds of years. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic term feather one’s nest, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

To feather one’s nest means to enrich oneself. Usually, the idiom is used when someone is taking advantage of a situation or is appropriating what is not actually theirs to take. However, one may speak of feathering one’s nest when referring to accumulating wealth for later, especially for retirement. The expression feather one’s nest came into use in the mid-1500s and is based on the fact that birds tend to line their nests with feathers to make a warm, safe place for their eggs and hatchlings. Related phrases are feathers one’s nest, feathered one’s nest, feathering one’s nest.

Examples

Speaking to The Indian Express at his Moti Bagh Palace residence, Amarinder said he was not fighting from Lambi for symbolism but with a purpose: “to teach Badal a lesson for having feathered his nest”. (The Indian Express)

Where, if all goes well for her in the next weeks and she’s allowed to retain access to the money that the couple has reportedly secreted in Switzerland and elsewhere, she’ll still just be able to feather her nest with plenty of luxury shopping. (Forbes Magazine)

The game you are supposed to play in British politics is feathering your nest by feathering the nests of others. (The Guardian)