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The Real Definition of Earn Your Salt

November 19, 2014

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Each day, you might have heard some dialogues with phrases that have also been utilized for many years. One of those widely-known phrases is the “earn your salt.” It is an idiomatic expression that you have heard when those lifeguards, divers, swimmers or surfers are having a conversation. Have you ever wondered the meaning and the origin of this phrase?Try searching on “earn your salt”. If you do this, you will find many fascinating and educational information about it. One reference actually suggested that the phrase “earn your salt” began with those ancient Romans and its origin could date back to the early time of 900 BC. In those times, the Roman armies are paid for the labor in salarium which was an allowance in order to buy salt.

Salt was regarded as one of the most significant spices long ago and it is still true today. It was also regarded as a compound that is significant to the human health. During that time, the term soldier meant ‘the person who is paid in salt’. The term soldier in that period is different. It meant ‘a person who is being paid in salt.’

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Over the years, the term ‘salarium’ was then shortened and it came into the today’s English language as salary. Then, when you say that someone earn his or her salt, you are actually saying that he/she is worthy of the wages that he/she earns, but this can also denote an individual who is worthy of admiration or respect.The meaning of the expression “earn your salt” is actually very simple. “Earn your salt”, or “worth your salt”, when you take it to its etymological meaning means that someone who worth his pay. This phrase is an American English idiom, which had drawn the interest of people, especially those linguists.

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Some references also suggested that this phrase means a person who is able to prove his or her abilities to earn respect for others. As being said, this phrase is often used to speak of divers, lifeguards, surfers and those who make their living from the water.Indeed, “earn your salt” is a very interesting phrase that is why many people have been researching about its origin. The root of this expression can be traced from the Roman practice but it is of note that the use of salt as a barter material has been practices in several places.

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