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earn a crust
To do work of any kind for a living; to earn money by some means. No, working in a canning factory isn't exactly glamorous, but we've all got to earn a crust somehow.
earn (one's) crust
To do work of any kind for a living; to earn money by some means. No, working in a canning factory isn't exactly glamorous, but I've got to earn my crust somehow. I hear Janet is earning her crust with an investment firm in Tokyo now.
the upper crust
The most affluent, powerful, or influential class in a society; the social elites or aristocrats. The awards ceremony was a chance for me to mingle with the upper crust. For years, tax laws have been specifically designed to favor the upper crust before the working or lower class.
Fig. the higher levels of society; the upper class. (From the top, as opposed to the bottom, crust of a pie.) Jane speaks like that because she pretends to be from the upper crust, but her father was a miner. James is from the upper crust, but he is penniless.
The highest social class, as in She wanted badly to be one of the upper crust but it wasn't going to happen. This term alludes to the choicest part of a pie or loaf of bread. [First half of 1800s]
earn a crustor
earn your crustBRITISH
If you earn a crust or earn your crust, you earn enough money to live on, especially by doing work you would prefer not to do. In his early days, he would do almost anything to earn a crust. You have to earn your crust somehow. Note: A crust means a piece of bread, especially a piece of the hard, outer part of the loaf.
the upper crust
The upper crust are the people who belong to the highest social class. The Cowes Regatta is a gathering of the wealthy and the upper crust who race their huge yachts and attend grand parties.
the upper crustthe aristocracy and upper classes. informal
In Anne Elizabeth Baker 's Glossary of Northamptonshire Words and Phrases ( 1854 ) ‘Mrs Upper Crust’ is explained as the nickname for ‘any female who assumes unauthorized superiority’. The term was also current in informal American speech in the mid 19th century. The French word gratin has a similar pair of literal and metaphorical senses, being literally ‘a crust of crumbs and cheese on top of a cooked dish’ and metaphorically ‘the highest class of society’.
ˌearn a/your ˈcrust(British English, informal) earn enough money to live on: He’s a musician now, but he used to earn a crust by cleaning windows.
The crust is the hard, outer surface of bread.
the ˌupper ˈcrust(informal) people who are in the highest social classIn the past, the top or upper crust of a loaf of bread was the best part, which the more important members of the household ate.
n. nerve; gall. She’s got a lot of crust—coming in here like that.
The top level of society. Although you might think that “crust” refers to bread and that the upper part was reserved for the aristocracy, word detectives would say you're wrong: no authoritative written connection between bread and the well-bred can be found. “Crust” refers to the earth's crust, or top layer. The upper crust of a society is its top layer.