earned your keep//were worth your salt

arueng

Senior Member
CHINESE
It's time you earned your keep.


HI,
Is it right to understand the above as "it's time you were worth your salt?" Thanks.
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hi arueng,

    No, those expression have entirely different meanings.
    Earned your keep~ Did some work that you ought to do/made a fair contribution
    worth your/his salt~ be good at something
     

    arueng

    Senior Member
    CHINESE
    Thanks, cuchuflete.

    By the way, does "earn one's keep" mean about the same as "don't be a rice worm," which is our counterpart of "good for nothing?"
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Well, they seem to have the same meaning, but consider this: the Chinese coolie is hanging around the U S Gunboat and the Navy engineer says, hey come aboard and I'll give you work so that you can earn your keep. I will give you a daily bowl of rice. Thirty days later the engineer tells the coolie that he is not doing his work properly. "You are not worth your salt," the coolie is told. He is fired.
     
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