Strike While the Iron is Hot - Idiom of the Week

Strike While the Iron is Hot - Idiom of the Week


FreeDictionary defines this idiom as follows:

To make the most of an opportunity or favorable conditions while one has the chance to do so.

Example: Certain industries have peak sales seasons. Pay attention to industry trends so you know the best times to buy, and make sure to “strike while the iron is hot!”


This expression is first recorded in “The excellent comedie of two the moste faithfullest freendes, Damon and Pithias” by Richard Edwards in 1566.

“I have plied the Haruest, and stroke when the Yron was hotte.”

This old saying uses imagery of a blacksmith and his art. If the blacksmith doesn’t strike the iron when it is hot and flexible, the metal will soon cool and harden, thus creating a lost opportunity, but if, on the contrary he “strikes while the iron is hot,” he will maximize his efforts and reap greater rewards faster.

In business, if sales are going well, you might work extra hard in order to “strike while the iron is hot.”  A related expression is, “make hay while the sun is shining.”