The idiom “kill two birds with one stone” is a fairly popular one, but did you know that it’s possible to come up with good synonyms for it. This article will explore what the best alternatives are for the phrase and how you can make use of them.
Which Terms Can Be Used As Synonyms For “Kill Two Birds With One Stone”?
There are a few good synonyms that we might use in place of “kill two birds with one stone.” All of them are idioms in their own right, and some of the best include:
- One fell swoop
- Fill two needs with one deed
- To stop two mouths with one morsel
- To make two friends with one gift
- To carry two faces under one hood
- Feed two birds with one seed
The preferred version is “one fell swoop” because it’s the most common phrase that we still use today. You’ll often hear native speakers using it to show that someone has done two things when they might have only intended to do one.
One Fell Swoop
Let’s start with the preferred version, which is “one fell swoop.” Interestingly, we still follow the same “bird” theme because we’re talking about a “swoop” like a bird might do when they fly towards the ground.
“One fell swoop” means we complete a task in one swift movement and often have the ability to complete two things at the same time. Usually, we don’t have to put a lot of energy into completing the second thing, and it’s a happy accident or chance that we do it.
You might see “one fell swoop” written in the following ways:
- In one fell swoop, I managed to convince my parents that I was right and stop myself from having to do any more chores!
- In one fell swoop, he saved both his goddaughter and his grandchild from peril!
- I managed both of those feats in one fell swoop. Some of you might think of me as a god!
Fill two needs with one deed
This next synonym is great when we want to stick to the original theme, where two things happen because of one thing.
“Fill two needs with one deed” is a very similar phrase to the original, and it’s deep-rooted with historical origins. We use it when we want to show that we’ve achieved two things by doing only one.
Rather than coming up with an extravagant metaphor, this saying works really well to simply say that by doing one thing, we’ve succeeded in two ventures (one deed equals two needs).
The phrase isn’t as common as “kill two birds with one stone,” but we might see it in the following ways:
- Well, you know that they say fill two needs with one deed, and that’s exactly what I attempted!
- I managed to fill two needs with one deed by making sure that both of my parents were happy for different reasons.
- Filling two needs with one deed is easy; I simply made sure that they both got what they wanted.
To stop two mouths with one morsel
Again, we can use the original structure with two things working from one simple thing to use the following phrase.
“To stop two mouths with one morsel” means that two people have been fed by the same piece of morsel (a small amount of food). We use it when we want to say that we’ve done a favor for two people while only needing to do one simple thing.
A “morsel” always refers to a small amount of food, which is why this phrase works so well to show how simple the task was. Since we didn’t need to find them a bigger meal, the morsel shows that with just a little extra effort, it’s possible to please more than one person.
You may hear this phrase in the following ways:
- I had to stop two mouths with one morsel, which was fine when I realized they were both after the same thing.
- You should have stopped two mouths with one morsel by asking them what they wanted to get out of the venture.
- I stopped two mouths with one morsel and made both of my business partners happy.
To make two friends with one gift
This is an excellent vegan alternative to the original phrase, considering we’re not talking about killing any animals. Of course, most vegans wouldn’t mind using the original phrase, but if you have a problem with it, this one is your best bet!
“To make two friends with one gift” is a good vegan alternative because no animals are harmed. We are simply making two friends by delivering one gift, which shows that we didn’t have to put a lot of effort into making sure that two people in our lives were happy.
While it might sound bad that we didn’t have to put a lot of thought or effort into something, generally, this saying works by showing that we know our friends so well that we can give them gifts that apply to all of them.
You could see this phrase as follows:
- I managed to make two friends with one gift when I made sure that both of my exes were happy with the arrangements.
- He made two friends with one gift by simply keeping his mouth shut until he was called upon! Now they’re both overjoyed.
- She made two friends with one gift when she delivered the parcels to both houses in record time, thanks to her new route.
To carry two faces under one hood
While not strictly carrying the same meaning as some of the others on this list, we believe this synonym is a great alternative for anyone looking to try out a different type of phrase.
“To carry two faces under one hood” is a way of saying that you’re able to hide a certain aspect of yourself while doing something that people expect you to do. It’s similar to the rest of the phrases and works well when you want to achieve a certain task without letting on.
Generally, this is the most secretive of the six phrases in this list. We use it when we want to hide our true intentions from the people we care about, but we also intend on making sure that people are happy with whatever outcome we decide on.
You could see this phrase in the following ways:
- I will carry two faces under one hood when I go abroad and make sure that I pick up anything needed while I’m out there.
- I can carry two faces under one hood by simply explaining to them why I’m right, which will get me out of trouble.
- I managed to carry two faces under one hood by introducing him to my hobby, and now we can do it together.
Feed two birds with one seed
“Feed two birds with one seed” is the last phrase we want to use, which shows that we can again make two things happy or complete two tasks by only needing one simple thing (in this case, a seed).
The “seed” we use in this example shows how easy it is to complete the task. Since “seeds” are notoriously tiny, there should be no way to feed two birds with them. However, this phrase shows the simplicity of our actions and how we intend to achieve two goals at once.
Feeding two birds with one seed might work in the following ways:
- You could feed two birds with one seed if you just listened to what they were saying and acted on their proposal.
- I need to feed two birds with one seed, so I’m going to attend and make sure that I understand what’s going on.
- I have fed two birds with one seed, and my mom and dad have no idea that I played them like common fools!
What Does “Kill Two Birds With One Stone” Mean?
Now that we’ve covered all the best alternatives, it might help you to know a little more about what the phrase actually means.
“Kill two birds with one stone” means completing two things simultaneously while only needing to do one action to achieve both things. Generally, we can complete both things with little to no effort, which is why we use this phrase.
What Is The Origin Of “Kill Two Birds With One Stone”?
Finally, it might help you to understand where the phrase “kill two birds with one stone” came from. With that information, you might be more inclined to start using it yourself should the right situation occur.
The phrase originates in Greek myth, with a story about Daedalus and Icarus. According to the story, Daedalus used one stone to kill two birds and collect their feathers, which he then went on to use as the wings that Icarus used before flying too close to the sun.
It’s a fairly well-known Greek myth, but mostly because of the part about Icarus, the reckless son who died when he disobeyed his father’s orders. However, if you look deeper into the story, you’ll notice the two birds one stone metaphor comes directly from it.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.