The Afrikaans translation for the early bird catches the worm is “the morning hour (more often morning hour) has gold in the mouth”, and this means that one accomplishes a lot by getting up early.
The representation that the morning horn has gold in its mouth comes from the Roman mythological goddess Aurora (the dawn council).
In the Swedish tradition, a gold ring falls from her mouth when she laughs, gold pieces when she speaks and from her hair when she combs it. In the Danish tradition it is silver and precious stones, and in the Romanian gold and silver. (Also interesting is that the element gold has the chemical formula Au, the initial letters of the lady’s name, as well as the word for dawn.)
A Hungarian proverb is also based on this: The man who gets up early will get a gold coin. According to the myth, the goddess flies through the sky every morning and announces the arrival of the sun. Her brother and sister are respectively Sol (the sun) and Luna (the moon), and four of her sons are the winds from the four quarters. She was so deeply upset about the death of another son of hers that her tears fell on the earth like dew in the morning in her flight.
morning hour (also sometimes more moment)
1 Early morning hours, or time when the morning begins, just after sunrise; synonym morning hour (less common): O Creator of the world round, / … let me … in the morning hour / revere until You approach (Ges. 179:2, 1944).Early in the morning hour… we hear the muezzin who… calls the followers of Allah to prayer (T.J. Haarhoff: Reinhard, 1936, 38).
Sources: Proverbs and other sayings, Dictionary of the Afrikaans Language (WAT)
- For the sake of the context of this language toffee and for the sake of acknowledging the source, we request that you do not simply share a screenshot of this language toffee on social media, but instead use the link from the Toetentaal post. – Ed
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