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Skin

To sell the skin before you have caught the bear. To count of your chickens before they are hatched. In the South Sea mania (1720), dealing in bear-skins was a great stock-jobbing item, and thousands of skins were sold as mere time bargains. Shakespeare alludes to a similar practice:

The man that once did sell the lion's skin
While the beast lived, was killed with hunting him.

Henry V., iv. 3.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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