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win one's spurs

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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.

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ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
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Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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