wordy wednesday: a bird in in the hand is worth two in the bush

Today’s idiom: a bird in in the hand is worth two in the bush

Meaning: be happy with what you have; stability is better than the something greater that might come to nothing

Origin: The first time this phrase was used with this wording is found in John Ray’s A Hand-Book of Proverbs” in 1670, though this source states that this phrase might have originally came from the book of Ecclesiastes, translated into English in 1382: “A living dog is better than a dead lion.”  From there Hugh Rhodes wrote in his The Boke of Nurture or Schoole of Good Maners circa 1530: “A byrd in hand – is worth ten flye at large.”  In 1546 John Heywood in his A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue: “Better one byrde in hande than ten in the wood.”  Obviously this phrase has a lot of history and different variations.  Other languages have their own versions too.

Source: phrases.


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