One of the many idioms that is very popular is the early bird catches the worm but as idioms are not so popular anymore, many people will find it very difficult to understand it when it is used so I will be defining it.
What does the Early Bird Catches the Worm mean? When someone says the early bird catches the worm it refers to a person who takes action or starts something early and has a better chance of success.
It implies that those who are proactive and get a head start on a task or opportunity are more likely to achieve their goals or gain an advantage over others.
Sometimes you see it on some sales fliers that are advertising a class or a course. They have this discount for the “early birds”. In that case, that’s their worm, that’s their reward.
In other situations, there are other advantages of having the early bird and there are other sayings or idioms such as “seize the day”, “fortune favors the bold” and so on that you can use instead of “the early bird catches the worm”.
Let’s look at 30 Similar Sayings to the early bird catches the Worm
- Seize the day
- Strike while the iron is hot
- Time and tide wait for no one
- Be ahead of the curve
- The early runner wins the race
- The proactive approach pays off
- Be on the ball
- First come, first serve.
- A day late and a dollar short.
- Early to bed, early to rise
- Make hay while the sun shines
- You snooze you lose
- The first mover advantage
- Fortune favors the bold
- The early fish catches the bait
- The squeaky wheel gets the oil
- Be in the vanguard
- The timely action reaps reward
- The quick of the mark triumphs
- Strike first, strike hard
- Beat the competition in the punch
- Take the initiative
- Get the jump on the competition/things
- Opportunity knocks but once
- Act when the conditions are favorable
- Make your move when the timing is right
- The diligent one enjoys the spoil
- The first to wake finds Fortune’s gate
- No pain, no gain
- The fruits of labor are a child
Seize the day
Or carpe diem as the Roman folks say. When you tell someone to seize the day, you are telling them to do all they can to make the most out of any opportunity that is available to them.
It is used as a motivation to get someone to do the best they can because there are a lot of opportunities and by making the most of it, they get a lot of benefit.
Strike while the iron is hot
“Strike while the iron is hot” tells people that when they see an opportunity, especially a lucrative one, they should jump on it immediately.
For example, discount prices, sales, and a legit investment that seems too good to be true (that may or may not be true).
People use this saying because when the iron is hot it can be bent or worked on easily unlike when it’s cold.
It’s the same way when an opportunity comes out, you might have an advantage when you act on it immediately than when you delay.
After all, a delay is dangerous. So is striking the hot iron with your palm.
Time and tide wait for no one
While the early bird catches the worm has a time of advice, time and tide wait for none sounds like it is a warning and a good one at that.
Every second and moment you lose is gone and you can’t get it back. So are the opportunities and events, which is the tide that happens.
The world won’t stop spinning because of you so you have to take everything as it comes.
Be ahead of the curve
Why are you always advised to slow down at curves, and even honk when you get to a curve? To prevent accidents.
However, in this article, being ahead of the curve is to be up with the trends and remain ahead of the trends. This makes you innovative as you try to solve the problem people have not yet
The early runner wins the race
By the early runner, we don’t mean what time he got to the track. We are saying when he finished the race which is kind of the whole point of a race: to see the fastest runner win.
The fastest runner is of course the one who has trained himself and put in the work to make sure he is the best. All of that work gives him an advantage that helps him win the race.
Anyone less prepared, or less trained would not run faster or better. Winning the race is his reward for all the work he put in.
The proactive approach pays off
This plainly says it all. The proactive approach is the approach where you take charge instead of your situation and decide what happens instead of just waiting around for things to happen and then you react to them.
The proactive approach tells you to work towards a goal in the best possible way so that you don’t have enough time and enough resources and you can plan it out.
For example, looking for a summer job and filling out forms before the summer break when all the good summer jobs will be taken and you will be left sulky with something you don’t want that just ruins the vacation for you.
Be on the ball
This saying makes me think of that circus picture of an elephant standing on a beach ball but it is far from that. To be on the ball means to stay alert to new ideas and methods so that you can incorporate them into your daily life.
Like working on a system is better than putting down pages and pages of notes that you still need a soft copy of, being on the ball will make you work smarter and hence have more results.
First come, first served
It’s like a queue, whoever gets there first is served first. Can you imagine them serving from the back of the queue, or maybe ushering people to the back seats when the front seats are empty?
That’s why we don’t allow curtsies. Just like the early bird, you get there first and get to be served early and go on with whatever you want to do instead of spending the entire day there. Seems fair right?
A day late and a dollar short
It’s not as easy to grasp as the others. This saying means that you are not adequately prepared for a situation and you are inexcusable for it.
For example, not being able to take a scholarship because you are not prepared when you should have been reading.
This saying points one to the fact that he or she misses a great opportunity, one that might not show up again in a hurry.
Using small quantities tells you how close they were to that opportunity but how they missed it.
Early to bed, early to rise
There was the nursery rhyme that finished the saying “makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. Good times. This saying explains that anyone who sleeps early will wake up early.
It gives you a headstart on the day because you don’t need to sleep late into the morning. Another thing about this saying is that it’s not just about sleeping and waking up.
When you do wake up, you are refreshed and you don’t have to look like a zombie while waiting for the caffeine to kick in. You just go straight to the worms.
Make hay while the sun shines
It’s best to work while there is a conducive environment that will facilitate and aid you rather than when it seems like all the odds are against you.
For example, if you lose a black sheep, you should try to look for it before sundown or it ends up in someone’s pen there.
Whatever you want to make, hay, worms, good decisions, just do them while the environment is still good for it.
You snooze, you lose
This very popular saying has a French origin: “Tu dormis, tu perdis”. It means that if you don’t seize an opportunity and get the reward someone else will take it and get the reward.
You must be willing to take a chance as soon as you can. Besides, if you think about it, there is a limit to what you can do while you are asleep and you will miss out on good opportunities because you don’t hear of it and can’t do anything about it.
The first mover advantage
It doesn’t really sound like an idiom or saying but it does relate and in fact, gave the same message as the early bird catches the worm.
It means that when you are the first to get on something or to start something, you get a lot of advantages from it.
For example, if you are the first to sell a product, you get more customers than others, or if you are the first to embark on a venture, you get not just profit but experience, and that in itself is worth it.
Fortune favors the bold
This is a part of the old Latin motto, “Fortune favors the brave, Fortnite favors the bold, fortune favors the strong.”
This is saying that those who are willing to take risks and be courageous are more willing to succeed than those who are more laid back and are willing to take a more general, or safer approach.
This doesn’t always mean that they will always succeed but their actions will open them to opportunities and chances that they can utilize to get better and increase their chances of success in whatever field.
The early fish catches the bait
Here’s something interesting. This is very similar to the early bird catches the worm except it’s a different animal and well, this animal stands a chance of losing everything.
That’s the thing, being early and putting your blood, sweat, and tears into something will yield but then you will have to be careful to get the bait like the fish and to be smart about it so you don’t get caught and lose so much in the process.
The squeaky wheel gets the oil
This idiom means that when you speak up about your problems or any grievances or issues you might have you will receive attention, advice, and help on it. After all, they say a problem shared is half resolved.
Think of it this way, if there is a squeaky wheel or even a squeaky door, once it is lubricated, it stops squeaking and the problem is solved.
If you take charge and voice out what’s wrong you will get a solution faster than being quiet about it. You get a reward in the end and the problem disappears.
Be in the vanguard
To be in the vanguard is to be at the head or the top of whatever is going on. You are in the position of a leader or innovator and you can stay one step ahead of others.
To be in the vanguard then means to stay ahead of others and take charge. The good thing about this is that not only do you get the reward of being the first to do anything, but you also set the pace for others and lead them in the direction to go.
You are not a successful person, you are a successful leader.
The timely action reaps rewards
Sometimes time is everything and if everything is done according to time and even ahead of time, you save a lot in terms of resources and effort.
You also don’t have to run around and fret to meet deadlines and all of these are just some of the things you benefit from when you take a lot of timely actions.
The quick off-the-mark triumphs
To be quick off the mark means to have a keen eye for opportunity and be very responsive to them such that you can seize a chance and achieve a more favorable outcome.
This way you triumph over others who want to take a more general route and avoid risks.
Strike first, strike hard
This idiom preaches being determined, assertive, and tackling a challenge as it comes. Just like the bird that caught the worm.
There was a problem of hunger and scarcity so it rose early to get its meal before it was all gone.
Tackling a problem and being willing to solve it at once prevents it from escalating and increases your chances of getting it over with it quickly without consequences.
Beat the competition to the punch
It’s nothing about fighting I assure you. It has to do with taking a course of action before your competitors.
This keeps you up to date and draws more people to you because you are at the top of your game and you know you can handle it.
Take the initiative
This means to take responsibility and intimate an action or be the first to do it. It means that you don’t have to wait for others to get started on something, especially something that will be helpful and fetch returns.
Get the jump on the competition
To get the jump in the competition or things that are going on is taking action in a particular area before the others do.
It gives you the advantage of knowing more, having more experience, being ahead of course, and reaping the benefit of said action.
Opportunity knocks but once
We have heard so many times that saying it will make people groan, and though opportunity comes so many times, in fact, several times a day, it’s never the same one at the same time hence the saying.
Taking an opportunity when it presents itself will fetch a big reward.
Act when the conditions are favorable
If you take an action when the conditions are most beneficial to you, it will have more favorable outcomes than when the odds are against you and there is a limit to what you can do.
For example, planning properly and setting out early on a long-distance journey will help you get a cheaper rate and help you arrive early.
Make your move when the timing is right
There is a saying like this above already and it says just what this one says: to find the perfect time that will give you maximum advantage so that when you make your move you get the optimal advantage.
The diligent one enjoys the spoil
People who are diligent don’t just do things, they do their best and make sure that whatever they do is excellent on all fronts. A diligent person will have his reward for not just doing his work but doing it well.
The first to wake find Fortune’s gate
Another saying that praises the early bird. There is more than just a reward when you wake up early.
You kick start your day with meaningful activities and get things done one time so they don’t have to spill into the next day.
No pain, no gain
I can almost call this saying ageless. Without the stress and strain of hard work, there is no gain or favor or reward, or anything that you would call it. It’s an age-long principle that never fails.
The fruits of labor are sweet
Hard work has its reward and the fruits of it are sweet and satisfying because finally all the efforts that you put in that seemed like they would fail paid off and you can rest easy in the comfort of your success.
These idioms convey a similar sentiment to “the early bird catches the worm,” emphasizing the importance of taking action, being proactive, and gaining an advantage over others.
You can use them in any setting to give advice, to caution, and to add more beauty to your speech or writing.