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separate the men from the boys

Slang definitions & phrases for separate the men from the boys

separate the men from the boys

verb phrase

To show who is effective and who is not; separate the sheep from the goats: Every mayor knows snow can separate the men from the boys, or the two-termers from the one-termers (1962+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with separate the men from the boys

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 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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