two strings to one's bow

two strings to (one's) bow

Two or more ways of achieving success or accomplishing some task or activity. Well, at least you have two strings to your bow with that degree in accounting if your acting career doesn't take off. I always try to plan a project with an backup method, in case my first plan falls apart. It's always good to keep two strings to your bow!
See also: bow, string, two
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

two strings to one's bow

More than one means of reaching an objective, as in Louise hasn't heard yet, but she's got two strings to her bow-she can always appeal to the chairman . This expression alludes to a well-prepared archer, who carries a spare string in case one fails. [Mid-1400s]
See also: bow, string, two
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

two strings to one's bow

More than one way of reaching one’s goal. This term comes from the custom of archers carrying a reserve string. It first appeared in English in the mid-fifteenth century, and by 1546 it was in John Heywood’s proverb collection. In the nineteenth century a number of novelists, including Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope, used the term as a metaphor for lovers: if one love affair fails, there is always another lover to be had. The current cliché is used more generally to mean resources in reserve.
See also: bow, string, two
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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