count your chickens before they're hatched

count your chickens before they're hatched

To celebrate, plan, or begin to take advantage of a potential positive future outcome before it has happened or been accomplished. Often issued as a warning and preceded by "don't." You're preparing your acceptance speech before even being nominated? Don't count your chickens before they're hatched. Why are you begging to drive my car to school tomorrow when you still need to take your license test? Don't count your chickens before they're hatched, babe!
See also: before, chicken, count, hatch
References in periodicals archive ?
Some say that "bear" originated in a proverb that goes along the lines of, "Don't sell the bearskin before you've caught the bear." This is similar to "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched." Others say that, "bear skin jobbers" were infamous for selling bearskins that they did not own; the bears had not yet been caught and killed.
'Also, there's an old saying in County Tyrone, where I come from, which says 'don't burn the black suit', which means don't count your chickens before they're hatched. It's that old cautious way of thinking.