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Understand the Meaning of Earn Your Salt

May 12, 2015

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Every day, you might hear conversations that contain phrases that have actually been used for long years. “Earn your salt” is just one of those popular phrases and idiomatic expressions that you might have heard to people talking with each other especially a conversation between those who are making their living from the water. Have you ever asked yourself about the definition and the etymology of the phrase?Well, if you research on “Earn your Salt”, there are a lot of informative and interesting information that you can obtain. 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.

It is important to note that salt is one of the most essential spices during the ancient times, and even in these present times, and it was regarded as something valuable for 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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After so many years, the word ‘salarium’ was actually shortened and now, it became salary in the English Language. 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.“Earn your salt” can always be defined in simple terms. It can be understood by people. “Earn your salt” is also recognized as “worth your salt.” When you take its original definition, it means that someone who is worth his pay. This expression is an American English Idiom that had also fascinated many people, especially those who study words and their meanings.

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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 mentioned above, this expression is actually used most particularly to speak of divers, lifeguards, surfers and others who are making their living from the water.It is true that “earn your salt” is a fantastic expression, and this is the reason behind those who have been searching for its roots. The origin of this expression will always lead you to the Roman Practice. However, bear in mind that the use of salt as something like a barter material has been practiced all over the world.

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