Why do we say "Don't Count Your Chickens Before They're Hatched.

Well-Known Expressions

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They're Hatched

Meaning:

Don't make plans that are dependent on something good happening before you know it has actually happened.

Background:

This saying is often attributed to one of Aesop's fables, although like so many of Aesop's stories it is not clear whether this one actually originated with him or has, at some point over the intervening 2500 years been attributed to him. The fable goes something like this:


A milkmaid is has a pail of milk that she plans to sell. She imagines selling the milk for a good price and using the money to buy some eggs, which will then hatch, then she'll raise the chickens and sell them for a good price and buy herself a nice new hat. Then she spills the milk and thus all her plans are for nought. Thus the moral of the story is don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

Whether originating in ancient Greece or more recently, it was in circulation in the 1600s as used by Thomas Howell in New Sonnets and Pretty Pamphletsi>, 1570:

Counte not thy Chickens that vnhatched be,
Waye wordes as winde, till thou finde certaintee

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...
  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Under the Udala Trees
by Chinelo Okparanta

Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.