What Does the Expression “Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch” Mean and Where Did it Originate?

The expression “Don’t count your chickens” is a commonly used saying similar to New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra’s warning that “it ain’t over till it’s over.”

First written in the sixth century BC, it is a quotation from one of Aesop’s fables, called “The Milkmaid and Her Pail.”

It means “don’t get ahead of yourself, because life is full of uncertainties.”

Aesop began life as a slave but was freed because of his wit and wisdom.

The proverb “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch” was first recorded in English in the late sixteenth century.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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