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...or are you enjoying the early bird period...

What is the meaning of this phrase?

I understand the following phrase generally, but can't work out the meaning of "early bird period" specifically.

Whether you are a beginner enjoying the early bird period or an experienced trader on the run for the best investment opportunities...

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    Needs... more... context...
    – MorganFR
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 17:00
  • "Early Bird" is a description some restaurants and other businesses use when describing a discount they give to customers who show up earlier than the normal busy time (for example cinemark.com/early-bird-discount), but I don't see how that applies to the sentence in your question. We would be able to help more if you could show us where you found this sentence, so we could read a little bit more.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 17:18

2 Answers 2

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The phrase probably comes from the proverb (from Oxford Dictionaries):

the early bird catches the worm
PHRASE

proverb
The person who takes the earliest opportunity to do something will gain the advantage over others.

In the proverb, the "early bird" gains an advantage by arriving somewhere where worms are first, which allows it to catch the most worms and so have the most food and be more likely to survive (or be able to feed its young).

In the case of the phrase "early-bird period" (note that it should be hyphenated), it means a period in which any participants will have an advantage. Although I don't think the phrase "early-bird period" is particularly common, there are similar phrases. For example, early-bird discounts (or deals), where people who buy early receive a special price.

An early-bird discount is is often used where the offeror has a significant investment or expense and wants to recoup the cost as quickly as possible. You'll probably see it often with holidays and travel deals, or with crowdfunding campaigns where a product may not necessarily exist at the time of order.

It would then not be odd to describe the period in which the early-bird discount is offered as the early-bird period.


As @Willow Rex's answer shows, "early bird" does have another meaning:

early bird
PHRASE

humorous
A person who rises, arrives, or acts before the usual or expected time:
"he was always an early bird"
[as modifier] "many cruise lines offer early-bird discounts for people who plan ahead"

As does the word "period":

period
NOUN

1.3 Each of the set divisions of the day in a school allocated to a lesson or other activity:
"two periods of PE are allocated on the timetable"
"he interviewed the teachers when they had a free period"

So it is possible that "early-bird period" could mean "an early (morning) class," I would not expect this meaning unless it was abundantly clear from context that it referred to classes.

If "early bird" were being used in this way, I'd probably expect early classes to be described as "early-bird classes" or "lectures" instead, especially in relation to college or university classes, because primary/secondary school classes and class times are generally set, whereas there's generally more leeway with tertiary education (so it could be possible for a student to take a later class and avoid "early-bird classes").

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  • I added some information Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 17:16
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...or you are enjoying the early bird period...

Out of context, it is an awkward phrase. If it is perhaps about the first class of the day in a college or university, sometimes they start at 7:00 a.m., and they could be referred to as early bird classes. Sometimes a school day is broken into time periods of set times. Each of those set times are often referred to as simply periods.

I liked to be at work to do my preparation prior to my students arriving at school. I arrived at 7:00 a.m. and was often called "an early bird".

I could be on the wrong track here because you only quoted a small portion of the text.

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