win one's spurs

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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