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early bird catches the worm

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Also, early bird gets the worm. One who arrives first has the best chance for success, as in She's always the first one in line and does well at these auctions—the early bird catches the worm! This proverbial saying, first recorded in English in 1605, is so familiar that it is often shortened to early bird, a term also used in the sense of “early riser”, as in You can call me at seven—I'm an early bird, as well as “early diner” (This restaurant has early-bird specials at lower prices).

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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