A Bird in the Hand
People say "a bird in the hand" as a shorter version of the full proverb "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." This phrase means it is better to keep what you have rather than risking it on the chance of getting something better.

The exact origin of this proverb is unknown but it is thought to have first appeared in connection with medieval falconry where trained birds of prey were used to hunt. Clearly these 'birds in the hand' were much more valuable than whatever prey was hiding in the bushes. This phrase was used so commonly in medieval England that a number of pubs were named "Bird in the Hand" and some have survived to current times. English immigrants to America brought the phrase with them and a town was founded in Pennsylvania with this name in 1734.

The phrase a bird in the hand had various iterations in print in the 16th century but the earliest example of it's current form in print is found in John Ray's "A Hand-book of Proverbs" published in 1670.

Use Example - I don't think you should quit your job until you have a new one. It's a tough job market and this one is a bird in the hand.

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