Earn our keep - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
earn (one's) keep (redirected from earn our keep)
earn (one's) keep
To perform sufficient work or help in exchange for money or housing. If you're going to live here rent-free, then you need to earn your keep by helping out with the cooking and cleaning. That boarder earns his keep by doing maintenance in the building.
earn one's keep
to help out with chores in return for food and a place to live; to earn one's pay by doing what is expected. I earn my keep at college by shoveling snow in the winter. Tom hardly earns his keep around here. He should be fired.
earn one's keep
Also, be worth one's keep or salt . Work well enough to deserve what one is paid, as in Get a job-it's time you earned your keep, or With that batting average he's not worth his salt. The keep in this phrase refers to "room and board," which in former times sometimes constituted the only reward for working (on a farm, in a home, etc.). The salt stands for "salary" and alludes to the ancient Roman practice of paying soldiers an allowance to buy salt. [First half of 1800s]
earn your keep be worth the time, money, or effort spent on you.
ˌearn your ˈkeep be useful, helpful, successful, etc. enough to balance any costs that you cause: Jill more than earns her keep with the help she gives me around the house. ♢ Though it’s expensive to buy and maintain, the new computer is earning its keep as we’ve been able to reduce the number of staff.
References in periodicals archive
After all, it's our goal to continue to earn our keep
as New Hampshire's community business newspaper, making sure our readers are at the heart of the decisions we make.
We all have a story and we have all had knocks in our lives but some of us are not fortunate enough to have your talent and have to live in the real world and work hard to earn our keep
Why don't they get into the real world where you and I have to earn our keep
and pay our bills year in year out without catastrophic rises we may now have to contemplate.
Our bearded breast-fed babies who, taxable, earn our keep
, smack their lips in lulls between engagements while they lean on cigarettes.