separate the men from the boys


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separate the men from the boys

 and separate the sheep from the goats
Fig. to separate the competent from those who are less competent. (Not necessarily just about males.) This is the kind of task that separates the men from the boys. Working in a challenging place like this really separates the sheep from the goats.
See also: boy, men, separate

separate the men from the boys

to show which people in a group can do something difficult and which people cannot The five-day camping trip next month should separate the men from the boys!
See also: boy, men, separate

separate the men from the boys

Distinguish between mature, experienced individuals and novices, as in The picket line will separate the men from the boys in the union. The idiom is used without respect to gender. [c. 1930]
See also: boy, men, separate
References in periodicals archive ?
At over 7,300 yards, it is certainly long enough and is more than likely to separate the men from the boys.
Behan who has now played himself right into contention for a place in mid-week took just 10 minutes to separate the men from the boys.
THIS year's Smash Hits Poll Winners Party looks set to separate the men from the boys and women from divas if the nominations are anything to go by.
He himself exited ingloriously 5 and 3 to Craig Stadler, Lee Westwood packed his bags moaning that the resort course was too easy to separate the men from the boys, and other big-name casualties were Ernie Els, Davis Love III, Hal Sutton and Jim Furyk.
This is the time to separate the men from the boys and it's time to be men.
A sixth-minute Leon Mike strike gave the Dons victory but manager Ebbe Skovdahl knows next week's showdown with Euro rivals Livingston will separate the men from the boys.
In contrast, the out-of-form Westwood has been bleating that the course is not hard enough to separate the men from the boys, while Woods has still to prove himself on a US Open-style lay-out.
We need to roll our sleeves up and this will separate the men from the boys.
THESE are the holes that will separate the men from the boys at the K Club over the next four days.
And it's only adaptability, planning, and the development of flexible skills that really separate the men from the boys in a successful third age.
Let's separate the men from the boys, lets see who really wants the feeling of winning rather than the sick feeling of losing," he added.
No surprises, then, that he has a basket of tricks up his sleeve to separate the men from the boys, or the real women from the weeds at the company HQ in Kirknewton, near Edinburgh.
Q: "How do you separate the men from the boys in a monastery?
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