Expression idiomatique en anglais: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

A bird in the hand is Worth two in the bush

Meaning

  • What you already have is more valuable than the prospect to have something greater
  • It is better to be content with you have than risk losing it by trying to get something better
  • It is better to have something small but certain rather than the mere possibility of a greater one

Examples

  • You may not like your job, but don’t quit merely on the hope of finding a better one. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  • I might have got a letter offer if I had waited for longer, but I decided to take the one I had. After all, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  • He decided against selling off his business for the prospects of starting a bigger one. He realized that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  • Do not put your life’s savings into risky investments in the hope of higher returns. You may lose everything. Don’t you know, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Origin

This proverb has its origins in medieval falconry, where a bird (falcon) in hand was more valuable than two in the bush (the prey). In its exact current form, the first use was in 1670 in « A Hand-book of Proverbs » by John Ray.

The earliest English version of the proverb is from the Bible and was translated into English in Wycliffe’s version in 1382, although Latin texts have it from the 13th century:

Ecclésiastes IX – « A living dog is better than a dead lion »

Variations and alternatives of the proverb, with the same meaning, are found since ancient times.

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Source: http://english.idioms.in/a-bird-in-the-hand-is-worth-two-in-the-bush/

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