Posted by ESC on September 03, 2005
In Reply to: Don't count your chickens before they hatch posted by David FG on September 03, 2005
: : Hello. My sister used to ask you questions when she was in 4th grade. Now I'm in 4th grade and I have the same teacher. She asked us where the phrase - Don't count your chickens before they hatch came from, but I want to know what it means! Thank you very much. Will from Mrs. Morrissey's class
: It means don't rely on something until you are sure of it. Don't think that because you have 12 eggs, you are going to get 12 chicks!
DON'T COUNT YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE THEY HATCH - " ' The Milkmaid and her Pail,' a fable generally attributed to Aesop but possibly of much later origins, probably gave rise to the current proverb.The earliest renderings of the proverb in English appeared in a word called 'Misogonus' (c. 1577): 'My chickings are not hatcht I nil to counte of him as yet,' and in 'Ephemerides of Phialo' by the English ecclesiastic Stephen Gosson, 'I would not have him to counte his chickens so soone before they be hatcht.'." From "Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New" by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993).