a person who gets up, arrives or acts before the usual or expected time
This expression comes from the saying the early bird catches the worm meaning that the person who takes the earliest opportunity to do something will gain an advantage over others.
RELATED IDIOMS :
early on, especially in a game or contest - British informal
Apparently this expression arose with reference to a period of admission to a music hall ending some time before the start of the performance and giving a better choice of seating.
2003 - Guardian - Jeremy Vine, hosting Radio 2's music industry debate last night, got a dig in early doors about his hallowed predecessor on the station.
It is early days
it is too soon to be sure how a particular situation will develop - British informal
take an early bath
be sent off in a game of football or other sport
fail early on in a race or contest – informal
1992 - Bowlers' World - Defending champion Dave Phillips took an early bath losing all his three opening qualifying games.
early bird :
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