earn (one's) spurs

(redirected from earned 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

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 your spurs

or

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
References in periodicals archive ?
You look at the Premier League now and you see Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez, Paul Lambert, Steve Bruce, an endless list of of managers who have earned their spurs in the Championship.
Superal will be backstopped by a pair of 16-year-old golfers who earned their spurs in the junior circuit.
They earned their spurs pushing the cause of social justice and by so doing gave dignity to groups that had hitherto been discriminated against in the Brahminical order.
Everton have earned their spurs (in recent seasons), the players have done really well defensively and it won't harm the team to be a bit more expansive going forward.
Others likely to be interested are Jim Crowley, Jamie Goldstein, Robert Lucey-Butler and Paddy Aspell, who all earned their spurs jumping before switching codes.
Middlesbrough, having earned their spurs over the weekend, hold down the lucky No 7 place and are at the doorway of UEFA Cup qualification.