I was wondering if anyone knew any other phrases or idioms for 'the fruits of our/your labour'?
I wanted to use it in the context, of a graduation speech, on how hard they've worked and how far they've come, that they're now about to receive the degree they've been working so hard for, over the last few years.

  • 8
    The Apostrophe Police are going to be all over your case there. Might want to move your posting outside their jurisdiction before it’s too late.
    – tchrist
    May 18, 2014 at 3:22

8 Answers 8


You can use the expression:

To reap the benefits of one's work, meaning to collect the positive results of your work.


Perhaps (y)our {just / well-deserved / well-merited} reward.


By dint of is an idiom that speaks of:

because of something; due to the efforts of something. (Dint is an old word meaning 'force,' and it is never used except in this phrase.) They got the building finished on time by dint of hard work and good organization. By dint of much studying, John got through college.

Hard miles:

If you have done the hard miles, you have done the hard difficult work and that makes you eligible to comment or participate in something.

  • I've never heard of 'dint' before, until now, it's a really unique and useful word - thanks.
    – Caley
    May 18, 2014 at 4:16
  • 1
    Look for the kids to check their iPhones ;-)
    – Third News
    May 18, 2014 at 4:18

How about the sweat of your brow?


I think the one that probably comes closest is hard work pays off.


How about just deserts?

From Dictionary.com:

get/receive/etc. one's (just) deserts: to be punished or rewarded in a manner appropriate to one's actions or behavior

You graduation speech:

You've all worked so hard and come so far, you are now receiving your just deserts.

  • It's "desserts", and, whatever the dictionary says this is almost always used in the negative sense. Nov 22, 2017 at 13:00
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    @MaxWilliams It really, truly isn't 'desserts'. OED 'just desert n. what a person or thing really deserves, esp. an appropriate punishment; now usually in pl.'
    – Spagirl
    Nov 22, 2017 at 13:10
  • @Spagirl I stand corrected dictionary.com/e/just-deserts Nov 22, 2017 at 13:32
  • @MaxWilliams It is pronounced 'desserts' the pud rather than 'desert' the sandy place, hence the confusion
    – Spagirl
    Nov 22, 2017 at 13:37
  • @Spagirl I did wonder why it's general negative (ie the consequences), while dessert is generally a positive experience. Nov 22, 2017 at 13:41

Consider the expression blood, sweat, and tears.

blood, sweat, and tears: (fig.) the signs of great personal efforts.


After years of blood, sweat, and tears, they finally earned a college degree.

  • 1
    That seems a little overdramatic.
    – Ypnypn
    May 18, 2014 at 16:36

Hard work pays off in the end...

The words blood, sweat, time, fruit and idioms like burning midnight oil is all connected with the term 'hard work'.My idiom is 'the type of fruit you recieve is the type of seed which you sow.' Here it means that for whatever intention you sow your seed for, say greed and you sow it with anger then the fruit you receive in the end is bitter with greed and rotten with the wrath of your own anger.Also 'What you invest is what you receive'.Means that-If you invest anger,greed and dishonesty then what you'll receive is the same-'bitter failure', but if you invest hard work, honesty and good thoughts then what you'll receive is 'sweet fruit of success'.

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