#RussianSaying: a Tomtit in the Hands is Better than a Crane in the Sky


Ivan Bilibin - Ivan Tsarevich catching the Firebird's feather, 1899.
Ivan Bilibin – Ivan Tsarevich catching the Firebird’s feather, 1899.

Лучше синица в руках, чем журавль в небе (lúchshe sinítsa v rukákh, chem zhurávl’ v nébe).

Literally: a tomtit in the hands is better than a crane in the sky.

English equivalents:
  • a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush;
  •  better a dove on the plate than a woodgrouse in the mating place;
  •  better an egg today than a hen tomorrow;
  • one today is worth two tomorrow;
  •  better one small fish than an empty dish;
  •  a living dog is better than a dead lion;
  • an ounce of (good) fortune is worth a pound of forecast;
  • a pound in the purse is worth two in the book;
  •  half a loaf is better than no bread;
  •  never quit certainty for hope.

P.S. Ivan Tsarevich (Иван-Царевич) & Zhar-Ptitsa (Жар-птица, literally: Heatbird, i.e. Firebird) are Russian folklore creatures – a hero and a magic bird. Thus, of course a tomtit in the hands is better than a crane in the sky but having a Firebird’s feather beats all…

Advertisements

One thought on “#RussianSaying: a Tomtit in the Hands is Better than a Crane in the Sky

Any ideas?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s