spur

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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) stripes

To prove that one is deserving of a particular position or designation. I told the recruiter that I earned my stripes as a teacher before moving into administration.
See also: earn, stripe

hang up (one's) spurs

To stop doing something; to retire from something. I've been at the company for 30 years, so it's time for me to hang up my spurs. You're an adult now, and you can't stay out all weekend—it's time to hang up your spurs and ditch the party scene.
See also: hang, spur, up

on the spur of the moment

Very suddenly, impulsively, and/or without preparation beforehand; in an impromptu or capricious manner. You've got to stop making decisions about your business on the spur of the moment like this, or you'll end up running it into the ground! It's totally out my character to take a trip on the spur of the moment, but I just needed to get out of the city for a while.
See also: moment, of, on, spur

spur on

To urge, encourage, or goad someone onward in some task or activity. Likened to applying the spurs on one's boots to compel a horse to move forward or go faster. A noun or pronoun can be used between "spur" and "on." There were times when she wanted to give up, but her desire to beat her rival in the championship spurred her on. Analysts think the president's recent actions have spurred on the economy.
See also: on, spur

spur-of-the-moment

Occurring very suddenly, impulsively, and/or without preparation beforehand; impromptu or capricious. You've got to stop making these spur-of-the-moment decisions about your business, or you'll end up running it into the ground! It's totally out of my character to take a spur-of-the-moment trip like this, but I just needed to get out of the city for a while.

win (one's) spurs

To prove one's skill in a particular area and earn distinction or a good position as a result. Once you've watched the triplets for an entire day, then you'll have won your spurs as their caretaker, as far as I'm concerned. After getting my bachelor's degree, I won my spurs as a teacher by working short-term contracts in small urban schools for two years.
See also: spur, win

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

on the spur of the moment

Fig. suddenly; spontaneously. We decided to go on the spur of the moment. I had to leave town on the spur of the moment.
See also: moment, of, on, spur

spur someone on

to urge someone onward; to egg someone on. (Fig. on applying spurs to a horse.) The crowd spurred the runners on throughout the race. The cheering spurred on the runners.
See also: on, spur

on the spur of the moment

Impulsively, without prior preparation, as in He decided to join a tour to England on the spur of the moment. This expression alludes to the goading action of a spur to a horse. [Late 1700s]
See also: moment, of, on, spur

spur on

Goad or urge ahead, as in The thought of winning a Pulitzer Prize spurred the reporter on. This expression transfers using spurs to make a horse go faster to incentives of other kinds. [Late 1500s]
See also: on, spur

win one's spurs

Gain a position or attain distinction through hard work or some special accomplishment. For example, After two years of freelancing, she won her spurs as a programmer and was hired for the top job . This expression originally alluded to being knighted for some act of bravery and was being used figuratively by the mid-1500s.
See also: spur, win

on the spur of the moment

COMMON If you do something on the spur of the moment, you do it suddenly and without planning it in advance. He decided on the spur of the moment to make the journey south to Newcastle. She asked me, on the spur of the moment, to go along with her. Note: A spur-of-the-moment action or decision is sudden and has not been planned in advance. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. It was like, let's do something with the kids before school starts. We hadn't planned it — it was a spur-of-the-moment thing.
See also: moment, of, on, 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

on the spur of the moment

on a momentary impulse; without premeditation.
1988 Rodney Hall Kisses of the Enemy Now that was a witticism, an inspiration on the spur of the moment.
See also: moment, of, on, spur

win (or earn) your spurs

gain your first distinction or honours. informal
In the Middle Ages a knight who had won his spurs had attained knighthood by performing an act of bravery: a pair of gilt spurs were the distinguishing mark of a knight.
See also: spur, win

(do something) on the ˌspur of the ˈmoment

if you do something on the spur of the moment, you do it as soon as you think of it, without planning or preparation: When they telephoned me with the offer of a job abroad, I decided on the spur of the moment to accept.It was a spur-of-the-moment decision.
See also: moment, of, on, spur

win/earn your ˈspurs

(formal) become successful or famous: You’ll win your spurs as a teacher if you can control class 5.
See also: earn, spur, win

spur on

v.
1. To urge some horse onward by the use of spurs: The knight spurred the horse on across the shallow river. I spurred on the horse as fast as it could go.
2. To stimulate or encourage someone or something: Low gas prices spurred on the booming economy. We never could have finished the project if our boss hadn't spurred us on.
See also: on, spur

on the spur of the moment

Spontaneously and impulsively, without deliberation. This figure of speech, which likens the right time (the moment) to the goading action of spur to horse, dates from the late eighteenth century. Archibald Duncan used it in Lord Nelson’s Funeral (1806): “The contrivance of Mr. Wyatt, on the spur of the moment.”
See also: moment, of, on, spur
References in periodicals archive ?
The Spurs honored Parker before the game with a two-minute video of his career highlights in San Antonio, including being drafted with the 28th pick in 2001 and his four NBA championships with the team.
Parker also clarified confusion over recent comments he made to Chinese website HUPU that he would retire with the Spurs.
So if the Saints can keep Harry Kane et al to two goals or less, as they have with the majority of visitors, a 2-0 Tottenham win is 7-1 and the 2-1 correct score in Spurs' favour is around the same odds.
Brown joined the Spurs as a member of their basketball operations department in 1998-99 and was a member of the Spurs organization for the first four of their championship seasons (1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007).
Kernel yield of the individual trees with tagged spurs and the kernel yield of the orchard containing those trees were also recorded for 6 years (2002-2007).
Primary row: 5 spurs; [P.sub.5] longer and thinner than other primary spurs, located near apex and may be mistaken for an apical spur; series of [P.sub.1] to [P.sub.5] increases in length, [P.sub.1] and [P.sub.2] subequal; primary row weakly arched towards apex.
And, with Arsenal's history of dithering in the transfer market, Spurs want to do swift business to snare the 27-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Newcastle.
On Tuesday, the Spurs returned to the location of their greatest heartbreak, where the Miami Heat snatched away what they felt should've been a fifth NBA championship with two crushing wins.
He played for Spurs until 1988 before moving to Blackburn Rovers.
Q My neighbor was just diagnosed with a bone spur in his foot and it's affecting his ability to walk.
Redknapp wants hard-bargaining Stretford - best known as Wayne Rooney's advisor - to sort him out a new deal with Spurs supremo Daniel Levy.
San Antonio Federal Credit Union, San Antonio, hosted San Antonio Spurs players and fans to accept donations for the San Antonio Food Bank at its main office.
ARSENAL ......3 SPURS ......0 GLOATING goal hero Robin van Persie insists Spurs lay down and died after he hit Arsenal's opener in the London derby.
Today's second Premier League fixture takes place at White Hart Lane, as Spurs boss Harry Redknapp faces his former club.