What does the idiom "Kill two birds with one stone" mean?
You are wondering about the meaning of the phrase Kill two birds with one stone, maybe you heard it in a TV show, movie or theater play. Although this idiom is not used very often, it enriches your capacity of expression and strengthens communication. In which case is the expression Kill two birds with one stone used and what is its meaning?
Meaning of "Kill two birds with one stone"
The idiom 'kill two birds with one stone' is often used to describe the act of achieving two goals through one effort or action. It is an expression that conveys how efficiency is often rewarded, for by doing something once, a person can accomplish two different objectives, as if killing two birds with one stone. It also often implies that the action taken to accomplish both goals is simultaneous.
The phrase 'kill two birds with one stone' has a bevy of different possible origins. The idiom may have come from Ancient Rome, as Plutarch recorded a version of the phrase in Latin, “to kill a lark and a thrush with one pebble.” While the exact origin of the phrase is not known, its first print usage in English has been traced to John Heywood’s 1546 book of proverbs which has: “A bird in the hand is worth two in a bush. And they that take a bird in hand, and let a better flye, may perhaps kill two birds with one stone.”
The phrase 'kill two birds with one stone' is most often used in informal conversations and written informally. It is used to express how a person has saved time, effort and resources by doing something once and achieving two or more goals. It is often used in a sarcastic manner to express when a particular task has backfired or failed.
- By ordering her groceries online, Sarah managed to kill two birds with one stone - she saved time and money on her shopping trip.
- I thought I was killing two birds with one stone, but instead I made a huge mess.
- Jack's solution to the problem was to kill two birds with one stone - he proposed a plan that not only solved the issue but also saved money.
Beyond the Literal: Figurative Language in Idioms
Idioms often use figurative language to convey a message that is not meant to be taken literally. For instance, the idiom "bite the bullet" means to endure a painful or difficult situation without complaint, while "hold your horses" means to be patient and wait. Other idioms, like "kick the bucket" or "pop your clogs," use euphemisms to talk about death.