earn (one's) spurs

(redirected from earn their spurs)

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

earn (one's)

To gain a position through hard work and the accumulation of experience, often in the face of difficulties.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
KIDS EARN THEIR SPURS Young Tottenham stars Alli and Dier (below) stepped up to the international stage..
CELTIC boss Ronny Deila has stayed in Glasgow to hammer his first team into Champions League shape while his kids earn their Spurs in Helsinki.
AFTER a fabulous result at home last Saturday against one team from the capital, it is now time for the Toon to earn their Spurs in the big Smoke itself at White Hart Lane.
REDKNAPP'S YOUNGSTERS EARN THEIR SPURS PAOK Salonika ....................................
THREE teenage gang members were jailed for life yesterday after stabbing an innocent 14-year-old in the heart with a 7in sword to "earn their spurs".
FIVE teenage gang members who killed an innocent 14-year-old boy to "earn their spurs" were last night facing lengthy spells in youth detention.
Time for the sheriff and his deputies to hitch up their gunbelts and earn their spurs.
But Devonish, 31, believes that they and World Junior 100m champion Harry Aikines-Aryeetey should earn their spurs before being elevated to senior level.