earn (one's) spurs(redirected from earned one's 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
earn your spursor
win your spursmainly 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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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.