‘Kill two birds with one stone’ in European languages

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more.

Did you know that the animal proverbially killed in the expression “kill two birds with one stone” differs from country to country? The map below shows the type of animal killed (birds are red, flies are brown, and rabbits/hares are green) together with a literal translation of the expression into English (please note that minority languages are not included in this particular map due to space reasons):

Kill two birds with one stone in European languages
See my maps available in print in various styles.You will directly support creation of new maps by buying a copy.

In some cases, I encountered two or more variants of the expression. Whenever this happened, I chose the one that seemed to be the most common. Here’s a list of the expressions shown in the map in the source languages (plus some minority languages):

Albanianme një gur vret dy zogj
Belarusianадным ударам забіць двух зайцоў
adným udáram zabíc’ dvuch zájcóŭ
Bosnianubiti jednim udarcem dvije muhe
Bulgarianда убиеш с един куршум два заека
da ubieš s edin kuršum dva zaeka
Catalanmatar dos pardals d’un tret
Croatianubiti jednim udarcem dvije muhe
Czechzabít dvě mouchy jednou ranou
Danishslå to fluer med et smæk
Dutchtwee vliegen in één klap slaan
Englishkill two birds with one stone
Estoniantapma kaks kärbest ühe hoobiga
Finnishtappaa kaksi kärpästä yhdellä iskulla
Frenchfaire d’une pierre deux coups
Germanzwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen
Greekμε ένα σμπάρο δυο τρυγόνια
me éna smpáro dyo trygónia
Hungariankét legyet üt egy csapásra
Icelandicslá tvær flugur í einu höggi
Italianprendere due piccioni con una fava
Latvianar vienu šāvienu nošaut divus zaķus
Lithuanianvienu šūviu nušauti du zuikius
Luxembourgishzwou Mécken mat engem Schlag (fänken)
Macedonianсо еден удар две муви тепа
so eden udar dve muvi tepa
Norwegianslå to fluer i ett smekk [Bokmål]
Polishupiec dwie pieczenie na jednym ogniu
Portuguesematar dois coelhos com uma só cajadada
Romanianîmpușca doi iepuri dintr-un foc
Russianубить одним выстрелом двух зайцев
ubít’ odním výstrelom dvuch zájcev
Serbianубити једним ударцем две муве
ubiti jednim udarcem dve muve
Slovakzabiť dve muchy jednou ranou
Sloveneubiti dve muhi na en mah
Spanishmatar dos pájaros de un tiro
Swedishslå två flugor i en smäll
Turkishbir taşla iki kuş vurmak
Ukrainianвбити двох зайців (одним ударом)
vbýty dvoch zájciv (odným udárom)

By the way, I have written several educational ebooks. If you get a copy, you can learn new things and support this website at the same time—why don’t you check them out?

Enter the discussion 0

Subscribe to my educational newsletter

to receive a weekly summary of new articles
Enter your email address below:
Please, enter a valid email address:
You tried to submit the form very quickly after opening this page. To confirm that you are a human, please, click on the button below again:
I will send you one of my ebooks for free as a little gift.