make (one’s) bones
 v.— «Business, for Puzo’s characters, is almost everything. Vito Corleone “made his bones” (first killing) in cold blood for dollars.» —“Persuasive Picture of Crime’s World” by Geoffrey Wolff Washington Post-Times Herald Mar. 8, 1969. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. This citation was previously misattributed to the New York Times but was corrected on July 5, 2017. Thanks to Merrill Perlman for the correction.

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