Idiom #18: An Early Bird

It has been a long time since my last article about idioms. It is time to get back on track, to let the cat out of the bag and to turn over a new leaf before my readers think I’ve abandoned them with egg on their faces and that I’ve cooked my own goose.

In earlier examples of idioms (click here) I concentrated mainly on idioms relating to birds. This is because birding is one of my passions and the focus of another blog I write (see Trevor’s Birding here).

This week’s idiom: An early bird.


If someone is “an early bird” they get up early in the morning, or they are very early for an appointment.


I cannot find any references as to the exact origins of this phrase. It quite likely comes from the proverb “The early bird catcheth the worm” quoted in John Ray’s A Collection of English Proverbs published in 1670. This proverb seems a logical statement due to the habit of many birds to rise early, to be very active even well before dawn and thus anyone who is an early riser is said to be “an early bird.”


“In order to be the first in line, you will have to be an early bird.”


  • Idioms – a series of articles about idioms from my archives.
Australian Magpie

Australian Magpie

Australian Magpies often begin their beautiful carolling well before sunrise. They certainly are one of “the early birds” in Australia.


One Response to “Idiom #18: An Early Bird”

  1. wmyartawan says:

    lovely. a great website