I am writing a screenplay and one of the characters picks up the phone and says "you're up early" but I need something to replace it. It doesn't have to be a real idiom or commonly used phrase as I don't think many exist (though perhaps I am mistaken). So you can be as creative as you want. For example I thought of something like "rooster's crowin" but I think it's maybe a little too cool/abstract. I need the phrase/idiom to connote that the person it's being said to is usually not up this early. Thanks in advance.

  • 3
    Yeah no ELU's not a writing service.
    – Mitch
    May 20, 2022 at 19:39
  • 2
    “You’re up early” is exactly what they would say. Why is that not good enough?
    – Jim
    May 20, 2022 at 22:51
  • Up with the cows May 21, 2022 at 4:53
  • Let's say the caller's name is Bob. Then the callee might say, "Bob? What are you doing up? Did you have some insomnia?" May 22, 2022 at 1:51

3 Answers 3


up with the lark

in British English
up early in the morning

Bright and early

very early in the morning
He was up bright and early, keen to get started.


You could try "you're an early bird", which would be derived from the common aphorism "The early bird catches the worm".

  • Just to comment on my answer -- the term "early bird special" is fairly common in the USA, meaning a discount is offered for people who come earlier than the busy time (for example, at a restaurant.)
    – Fraser Orr
    May 21, 2022 at 21:03

I hereby submit four possible suggestions for an alternate wording. Note that the square brackets in the fourth suggestion means optional and the "<->" squiggle means choose either. I had to presume from the wording of the posed question that, being intended for a screenplay, the poser perhaps wanted something more jaunty or colorful than what he began with. I also assume he kind of meant "My, you're up early" where I have added the "my" emphasizing the shock by the speaker at the caller's deviation from his/her norm. The posed question was not extremely precise so I applied my insights. Here then are my four suggestions:

"It's not even noon yet; what are you doing up?"

"I would expect you to be catching Z's at this hour."

"'Not sleeping in this morning? What's the occasion?"

"It's got to be important for you to have crawled out from the covers [so early] <-> [at this ungodly hour]."

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