separate the men from the boys


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separate the men from the boys

To distinguish or separate the experienced, competent, or strong participants from those who are not. We've had some easy games so far in the season, but this next one is going to separate the men from the boys. This is a business that separates the men from the boys—don't get involved unless you have what it takes.
See also: boy, men, separate

sort out the men from the boys

To distinguish or separate the experienced, competent, or strong participants from those who are not. We've had some easy games so far in the season, but this next one is going to sort out the men from the boys. This is a business that sorts out the men from the boys—don't get involved unless you have what it takes.
See also: boy, men, out, sort

separate the men from the boys

 and separate the sheep from the goats
Fig. to separate the competent from those who are less competent. (Not necessarily just about males.) This is the kind of task that separates the men from the boys. Working in a challenging place like this really separates the sheep from the goats.
See also: boy, men, separate

separate the men from the boys

Distinguish between mature, experienced individuals and novices, as in The picket line will separate the men from the boys in the union. The idiom is used without respect to gender. [c. 1930]
See also: boy, men, separate

sort out the men from the boys

or

separate the men from the boys

If a difficult situation or competition sorts out the men from the boys or separates the men from the boys, it tests people and shows who is strong and capable and who is not. This is the game that will sort out the men from the boys. It is absolutely vital to win the replay and get to the final.
See also: boy, men, out, sort

separate (or sort out) the men from the boys

show or prove which people in a group are truly competent, brave, or mature.
1968 House & Garden The Dry Martini…is a drink that will quickly separate the men from the boys and the girls from their principles.
See also: boy, men, separate

sort out/separate the ˌmen from the ˈboys

show or prove who is brave, skilful, etc. and who is not: OK everybody, today we’re going to do a physical fitness test, which will soon sort out the men from the boys!
See also: boy, men, out, separate, sort
References in periodicals archive ?
Those are the moments which separate the men from the boys and, having been handed the captaincy at such a tender age, there was little doubt which camp Cronje fell into.
This sport is supposed to separate the men from the boys.
Faced with a challenge to separate the men from the boys - climbing rock faces about 80ft high - they decided that they really had to plough through that really tedious report lying in the office, honest.
But it's exactly that extra pressure and expectation that will separate the men from the boys.
Unforeseen multiple fractures aside, Hide intends to keep going as long as he is still enjoying it, with a few built-in safeguards that separate the men from the boys in the jockeys' room - safeguards that enable the boys to continue plying their trade as men.
Now is the time when you can separate the men from the boys and those who are real Jambos through and through - like Gary Locke - are the men who can dig them out of trouble.
November will separate the men from the boys and it's vital we're not left behind.
You have to have intelligent, sophisticated agents working for you who can separate the men from the boys.
More than 30 new bunkers, several changes to existing ones, and the addition of some back tees which have seriously lengthened some of the "easier" holes, as well as the West Course's signature par-five 17th, which too many modern-day players have been able to reach with an iron second shot thanks to the march of technology, will separate the men from the boys.
ANY good interviewer will throw out a few killer questions designed to separate the men from the boys.
Short putts separate the men from the boys and holing them consistently is essential if you intend to be a serious competitor.
The history of the event, in the four years it has been played at Kapalua and for nine years at LaCosta before that, suggests the course is difficult enough to separate the men from the boys and that outsiders never win.
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