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  • Date :
  • 3/5/2013

Two Useful Phrases

Done to a turn



Cooked for exactly the right amount of time, done to perfection, Cooked just right,



bien cuit, cooked just right, perfectly done



The beef was done to a turn.

The entire meal was done to a turn.



Since at least the end of the first Millennium, food, especially meat, has been cooked on spits. The English abbot and scholar, Aelfric of Eynsham, referred to them as 'spitu' in Latin Grammar and Glossary, circa 1000.

Spits were originally simple pointed sticks, which were used to hold meat near to a fire. Rotating spits were developed in the Middle Ages; initially turned by hand and later by various forms of powered mechanism.

The allusion in the phrase 'done to a turn', or 'roasted to a turn', is to food that had been cooked for the precisely correct number of turns of the spit. Both versions of the phrase date back to the 18th century and the 'roasted' form is first cited in a piece by an author called Mackenzie in Mirror No. 93, 1780:

"The beef was roasted to a turn."


The early bird catches the worm



Success comes to those who prepare well and put in effort. This proverb is used to tell you to act early or right now to be successful. If you wake up and get to work early, you will succeed.

If someone says, "The early bird catches the worm," he/she means that if you do something early or before anyone else, you will have an advantage and be successful.



The early bird catches the worm! Don't miss this year's best deal! The sale will start on Thursday, and the store opens at 5:00 a.m.

Though you have more than 6 months before you leave, start looking for good deals on airline tickets and reserve your seats early. The early bird catches the worm.



This is first recorded in John Ray's A collection of English proverbs 1670, 1678:

"The early bird catcheth the worm."

Clearly, the title of the work indicates that this was considered proverbial even in the 17th century.








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