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LIFE.com: Where Cliches Come From

5 of 11

A Bird in Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush

What you might take to be the obvious meaning -- that it makes more sense to hold onto something you know you've got than to go chasing after something that might seem better but that you are uncertain about being able to get -- has more bite when you consider that it originally referred to falconry, and that the bird in hand was essentially a hunting tool. Here: A Kyrgyz berkutchi (eagle hunter) in traditional clothing launches his bird.

(Photo: VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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