What does the idiom "Kill two birds with one stone" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. Kill two birds with one stone meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "Kill two birds with one stone"

Meaning

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.

Etymology

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.”

Usage

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.

Example Sentences

  • 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.

The meanings of the words in the "Kill two birds with one stone" idiom

Idioms with similar meanings in different languages

"Barking up the wrong tree" is an English idiom that means to pursue a mistaken or misguided course of action. In German, the similar idiom is "Auf dem Holzweg sein," which translates to "To be on the wrong track." This idiom emphasizes the idea that when you are pursuing the wrong course of action, you are not going to achieve your desired outcome.

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