One swallow doesn't make a summer

Posted by TheFallen on April 06, 2003

In Reply to: Help posted by sharon on April 06, 2003

: what does the saying 'One swallow doesn't make a summer'????

The barn swallow (hirundo rustica) is a summer visitor to the UK (and I expect the US), where it feeds, breeds and nests over the months of May to September. The European version then migrates south for the winter, spending its time in Northern Africa, if I remember rightly.

The arrival of swallows in Britain at least could then be taken as a sign that summer has started and that warm weather is here to stay.

However the proverb "one swallow doesn't make a summer" advises caution against getting one's hopes up too early just because initial signs may look encouraging. Just because you see one swallow doesn't guarantee that there's not another cold snap on the way.

See also: the meaning and origin of 'One swallow doesn't make summer'.