earn spurs


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earn one's spurs

Fig. to prove oneself. After that rodeo, all the cowboys agreed that Sally had earned her spurs. He felt that he had earned his spurs when he received his Ph.D.
See also: earn, spur

earn/win your spurs

to do something to show that you deserve a particular position and have the skills needed for it He won his political spurs fighting hospital closures during his time as a local councillor in Bristol.
See also: earn, spur
References in periodicals archive ?
The first went in favour of the home side to earn Spurs the penalty, scored by Keane, which put them on the way to a 2-0 win.
Elsewhere, Jermain Defoe's brace was not enough to earn Spurs victory as they drew 2-2 against Coca-Cola League One side Hull.
Burnley were leading on away goals and looking set to celebrate a Wembley final against Manchester United but Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe struck in the final three minutes to earn Spurs a 3-2 defeat on the night and 6-4 victory on aggregate.
Robbie Keane struck in the 88th minute to earn Spurs a 4-4 draw at White Hart Lane, leaving their opponents five points behind leaders Manchester United.
Robbie Keane struck on 88 minutes to earn Spurs a 4-4 draw at White Hart Lane, leaving their opponents five points behind leaders Manchester United.
Bob highlighted the theatrical dive by Didier Zakora to earn Spurs a penalty when Portsmouth defender Pedro Mendes clearly never touched him.
Stephen Clemence back-heeled his first-ever Premiership goal in the last minute to earn Spurs a 1-1 draw, while Brian Deane's 60th-minute penalty gave Middlesbrough a 1-0 success at West Ham.
WALK TALL Crouch and Lennon at the final whistle FAR FROM SPOT ON Defoe's wide with second-half penalty WHITE HART GAIN AND PAIN Skrtel fires home opener but then slotted in at wrong end HOT SPUR Lennon kept his cool to shoot past Reina and earn Spurs a dramatic injury-time win over Liverpool JUMPING FOR JOY Lennon celebrates his late winner with Modric, Crouch and Bale