Posted by Rube on May 28, 2004
In Reply to: Catch it while it flies (meaning) posted by Andrew on May 28, 2004
: any ideas on this one?
I would have to think it is a "Get it while the getting's good" (while available), "get it while it is hot" (at its best) or "get it while it is still good to get it" phrase.
Positing an origin from baseball, a ball batted into the air, if caught while it flies, results in an out against the batter, which is an advantage to the fielding team. Caught after it has hit the ground, advantage hitter.
Another possible origin (albeit a little more of a stretch) might be from hunting. If you catch a fyling bird, you are assured of its freshness. One that is already dead on the ground, not so much so.