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 England striker scored twice, his first goal among the best of his career, in a win Spurs boss Villas-Boas hopes can spark their season into life.
Let's hope this win Spurs us on to victory on Sunday
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FOURTH RIGHT: Martin Jol reckons 15 more points will win Spurs a place in the Champions League