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

separate the men from the boys, to

To distinguish those who are mature and competent from those who are young and green. This term, always used figuratively, was popular in business and politics from the 1930s on, often put as “This emergency will separate the men from the boys”—that is, will show who is able to deal with it effectively. The mystery writer A. A. Fair used it in Beware (1956): “This is the kind of stuff that separates the men from the boys.”
See also: men, separate
References in periodicals archive ?
Ever since my own playing days it's been a place that tends to 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."
Simpson (inset, below) says he can use wedge approaches on all of the first 13 holes - but McDowell reckons it's the last five holes that will separate the men from the boys.
This next period of games will separate the men from the boys. And I truly believe it is retrievable."
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.
be wed of the M Simpson (inset, below) says he can use wedge approaches on all of the first 13 holes - but McDowell reckons it's the last five holes that will separate the men from the boys.
I admire that quality in football people as it tends to separate the men from the boys, especially when they're thrown into the cut-throat environment of the Old Firm.
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.
It's a match that should separate the men from the boys and in Greece they normally use a crowbar for that.
At over 7,300 yards, it is certainly long enough and is more than likely to separate the men from the boys.
But it's exactly that extra pressure and expectation that will separate the men from the boys.
He himself exited ingloriously 5 and 3 to Craig Stadler, Lee Westwood packed his bags moaning that the resort course was too easy to separate the men from the boys, and other big-name casualties were Ernie Els, Davis Love III, Hal Sutton and Jim Furyk.
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