a bird in the hand

a bird in the hand

Something of some value that is already acquired. Taken from the proverb "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," which means that having something, even if it is a lesser quantity, is better than taking the chance of losing it in order to attain something else that seems more desirable. Stephen: "I enjoy dating Nicole, but I'd really like to ask Debbie to dinner." Mark: "If you do that, Nicole will break up with you. Don't forget that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
See also: bird, hand

a bird in the hand

You say a bird in the hand to mean that it is better to keep what you already have than to try to get something better and risk having nothing at all. The question now is will Carmichael live to regret turning down such a lucrative offer? A bird in the hand ... Note: You can also use the phrase a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, so holiday resorts will reward you for booking early.
See also: bird, hand

a bird in hand

something that you have securely or are sure of.
This phrase refers to the proverb a bird in hand is worth two in the bush , current in English since the mid 15th century.
See also: bird, hand
References in classic literature ?
I read that God made man, and he made horses and all the other beasts, and as soon as He had made them He made a day of rest, and bade that all should rest one day in seven; and I think, sir, He must have known what was good for them, and I am sure it is good for me; I am stronger and healthier altogether, now that I have a day of rest; the horses are fresh too, and do not wear up nearly so fast.
Phileas Fogg had, without suspecting it, gained one day on his journey, and this merely because he had travelled constantly eastward; he would, on the contrary, have lost a day had he gone in the opposite direction, that is, westward.
It is so called, I think, in recognition of the spirit of the Jewish institution, that one day in seven should be a day of rest.
A day or two will be spent here, enjoying the fruit and wild scenery of these islands, and the voyage continued, and Gibraltar reached in three or four days.
Having perceived my bread had been low a great while, now I took a survey of it, and reduced myself to one biscuit cake a day, which made my heart very heavy.
As soon as Sir Sagramor got well, he notified me that there was a little account to settle between us, and he named a day three or four years in the future; place of settlement, the lists where the offense had been given.
As yet no free schools had been started for coloured people in that section, hence each family agreed to pay a certain amount per month, with the understanding that the teacher was to "board 'round"--that is, spend a day with each family.
The discussions of the authors' works should sometimes, at least, be made by the student in writing, sometimes after a day or two of preliminary oral discussion in class.
So he kept close within his castle for many a day and dared not show his face outside of his own household, and all the time he was gloomy and would speak to no one, for he was ashamed of what had happened that day.
As for the dogs, they ate but once a day, and then rarely did they receive more than a pound each of dried fish.
We continued travelling northward, in a zigzag line; sometimes stopping a day to geologize.
It was, I know, a night and a day, but to me it seemed--it seems now--an inter- minable length of time.
HISTORY OF A DAY AS USUALLY SPENT IN TYPEE VALLEY--DANCES OF THE MARQUESAN GIRLS
She met me in no ecstasy of emotion, nor was I surprised to find her there; it was as if we had been married for years and parted for a day.
A dollar sixty-five a day was simply not enough to feed them, and there was no use trying; and so each week they made an inroad upon the pitiful little bank account that Ona had begun.