go while the going is good

go while the going is good

Get away while you can; make progress while conditions are favorable. This turn of phrase, a twentieth-century Americanism, appears in several popular novels of the first half of the century, among them John O’Hara’s Appointment in Samarra (1934), as well as in a letter of H. L. Mencken’s of 1916: “You would be a maniac not to go out for all that money while the going is good.”
See also: go, going, good, while
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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