earn your stripes
Meaning: If you earn your stripes, you do something to prove that you have the skills or ability for a particular job or rank.
- He earned his stripes in the department of foreign affairs before becoming one of our ambassadors.
- You'll need to earn your stripes as a travelling salesman before we can think about giving you more responsibility.
Origin: Probably related to the fact in many organisations, including the armed forces, police forces, fire brigades, the boy scouts, etc., a person's rank is often shown by the number of stripes that are sewn onto the shoulder of their uniform.
If someone has earned their stripes, they can expect
This entry is in the following categories:
Contributor: Matt Errey