count chicken

count chicken


  • make plans based on events that may or may not happen
  • to start making plans about something that is based on something in the future which may or may not happen
  • to make a plan about how the benefits of something will be utilized before it has even materialized
  • usually referred to monetary benefits being allocated for causes without actually earning or receiving the money

Example Sentences

  1. It is not good to start counting your chickens when you do not even have the cash to start your own venture.
  2. She has been counting her chickens before they hatched and has already bought a dress even though nobody has asked her to the ball yet.
  3. People who count their chickens before they hatch are often disappointed.
  4. I had told him to not count his chickens before they hatch. Now he regrets paying the down payment on the car that he is no longer able to afford.
  5. I know you have motivated plans for your industrial endeavor, but don’t count your chicken.


The origin is speculated to be a part of the ancient British English language when poultry and animal farming was a major source of earning an income. The chicken eggs would not always hatch out and hence a farmer counting the chicken eggs before they hatch would be over-estimating his future profits.

See also: don’t count your chickens before they hatch


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Idiom of the Day

put your foot in it

Meaning: say something (by mistake) that upsets, humiliates, or embarrasses someone

Example: Carla put her foot right in it when she congratulated her neighbour on being pregnant. It turns out she's not expecting but had just put on weight. Read on


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