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Occurring very suddenly, impulsively, and/or without preparation beforehand; impromptu or capricious. You've got to stop making these spur-of-the-moment decisions about your business, or you'll end up running it into the ground! It's totally out of my character to take a spur-of-the-moment trip like this, but I just needed to get out of the city for a while.

hang up (one's) spurs

To stop doing something; to retire from something. I've been at the company for 30 years, so it's time for me to hang up my spurs. You're an adult now, and you can't stay out all weekend—it's time to hang up your spurs and ditch the party scene.
See also: hang, spur, up

on the spur of the moment

Very suddenly, impulsively, and/or without preparation beforehand; in an impromptu or capricious manner. You've got to stop making decisions about your business on the spur of the moment like this, or you'll end up running it into the ground! It's totally out my character to take a trip on the spur of the moment, but I just needed to get out of the city for a while.
See also: moment, of, on, spur

earn (one's) spurs

To prove one's skill in a particular area. Once you've watched the triplets for an entire day, then you'll have earned your spurs as a caretaker, as far as I'm concerned. After getting my bachelor's degree, I earned my spurs as a teacher by working in underfunded urban schools.
See also: earn, spur

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

on the spur of the moment

Fig. suddenly; spontaneously. We decided to go on the spur of the moment. I had to leave town on the spur of the moment.
See also: moment, of, on, spur

spur someone on

to urge someone onward; to egg someone on. (Fig. on applying spurs to a horse.) The crowd spurred the runners on throughout the race. The cheering spurred on the runners.
See also: on, spur

on the spur of the moment

Impulsively, without prior preparation, as in He decided to join a tour to England on the spur of the moment. This expression alludes to the goading action of a spur to a horse. [Late 1700s]
See also: moment, of, on, spur

spur on

Goad or urge ahead, as in The thought of winning a Pulitzer Prize spurred the reporter on. This expression transfers using spurs to make a horse go faster to incentives of other kinds. [Late 1500s]
See also: on, spur

win one's spurs

Gain a position or attain distinction through hard work or some special accomplishment. For example, After two years of freelancing, she won her spurs as a programmer and was hired for the top job . This expression originally alluded to being knighted for some act of bravery and was being used figuratively by the mid-1500s.
See also: spur, win

on the spur of the moment

COMMON If you do something on the spur of the moment, you do it suddenly and without planning it in advance. He decided on the spur of the moment to make the journey south to Newcastle. She asked me, on the spur of the moment, to go along with her. Note: A spur-of-the-moment action or decision is sudden and has not been planned in advance. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. It was like, let's do something with the kids before school starts. We hadn't planned it — it was a spur-of-the-moment thing.
See also: moment, of, on, spur

earn your spurs


win your spurs

mainly BRITISH
COMMON If you earn your spurs or win your spurs, you show you are capable of doing something well, and can be relied on to do it well in the future. How did he earn his spurs for the toughest police job in the country? Kampelman had won his spurs as U.S. negotiator at the Madrid talks. Note: In medieval times, when a man was made a knight, he was sometimes given a pair of golden spurs.
See also: earn, spur

spur on

1. To urge some horse onward by the use of spurs: The knight spurred the horse on across the shallow river. I spurred on the horse as fast as it could go.
2. To stimulate or encourage someone or something: Low gas prices spurred on the booming economy. We never could have finished the project if our boss hadn't spurred us on.
See also: on, spur
References in periodicals archive ?
5] longer and thinner than other primary spurs, located near apex and may be mistaken for an apical spur; series of [P.
the Spurs - The Thunder are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games vs.
Hills: 4-9 M Jol to leave Spurs before end of this season.
Pierce tied it again, then Duncan matched him for a Spurs lead.
United are evens favourites for victory tomorrow, with Spurs rated 11/5 and the draw quoted at the same price by bookmakers Coral.
Brave, barnstorming centre forward hit the goals that took Spurs back to Division One in 1933.
The commemorative edition will also available on Sunday, June 17, at the Spurs celebration parade along the Riverwalk and at the Alamodome celebration.
H-E-B is the presenting sponsor for the San Antonio Spurs and the San Antonio Stars and also maintains a presence with the San Antonio Rampage and Austin Spurs.
Ibaka himself admitted that even with him the Thunder could have been outplayed by the Spurs in San Antonio.
A stomach virus, not any type of anxiety, felled Clippers center Chris Kaman and kept him out of Monday's game against the Spurs, and sixth man Corey Maggette sat out with a bruised left knee.
LAST FIVE MEETINGSJan 1, 2002Spurs 1 Blackburn 0 Aug 25, 2002Blackburn 2 Spurs 1 Jan 30, 1999Blackburn 1 Spurs 1 Sept 9, 1998Spurs 2 Blackburn 1 Feb 2, 1998Blackburn 0 Spurs 3HODDLE: 'I felt it was the right thing for Tim' Blackburn have never reached the League Cup Final
GLENN HODDLE is on his way back to White Hart Lane, and bookmakers are anticipating a surge in optimism among Spurs fans.
Becks' grandfather Joseph West is a big Spurs fan and at Christmas he would buy the youngster a replica strip - much to the annoyance of his dad.
DNF), today announced that the San Antonio Spurs organization has deployed StoneFly Backup Advantage(TM) (SBA) to manage and protect its critical ticketing, event planning and payroll data.
Fair warning to Oklahoma City Thunder backers: the Spurs are for real and they aren't contented with convincing 122-105 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.