Why do we say "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Well-Known Expressions

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

Meaning:

It's better to possess something tangible now than to hold out for something potentially better in the future.

Background:

In English, variations on this proverb have been traced back to the mid 15th century. The first known use being in The Life of St Katherine by J Capgrave. But earlier usage can be found in Latin dating back to at least the 13th century: Plus valet in manibus avis unica quam dupla silvis ('a bird in the hands is worth more than two in the woods').

Alphabetical list of expressions

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