don't count your chickens before they hatch

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don't count your chickens before they hatch

Don’t spend or try to profit from something not yet earned. This expression comes from Aesop’s fable about a milkmaid carrying a full pail on her head who daydreams about selling the milk for eggs that will hatch into chickens and make her so rich she will toss her head at offers of marriage; but she prematurely tosses her head and spills the milk. It was, like so many Greek fables, translated into modern European languages and passed on. The expression was in use figuratively by the sixteenth century and appeared in proverb collections soon afterward.
See also: before, chicken, count, hatch
References in periodicals archive ?
"I think you're counting your chickens before they're hatched," I'll say.
But it certainly bodes well for us if there's an event called the Mens Four By Four Hundred Counting Your Chickens Before They're Hatched Relay.
What's that old saying about not counting your chickens?
"If you start counting your chickens before they hatch they won't lay the egg," mused Robson whose team now sit in second place two points behind Manchester United.
And you can't make an omelette without counting your chickens.
ON NOT COUNTING YOUR CHICKENS - "There is a saying in Italy that you don't sell the bear's skin until you have shot it."