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German Expression for To Kill Two Birds with One Stone

“To kill two birds with one stone” means in German: “zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen”. This idiom means literally: to slay two flies with one swatter. This expression is used when you want to solve several problems at once/or to accomplish two tasks with only one single effort.

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Examples:

Getting my German driver license means that I become more independent but also become better employable. So, this kills two birds with one stone. = Meine Führerschein machen heißt das ich unabhängiger werde, aber auch meine Erwerbsfähigkeit erhöhe. Damit werden also zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe geschlagen.

The self-driving car kills two birds with one stone because it makes driving safer but also gives people the opportunity to drive who would otherwise not be able to drive. = Das selbstfahrende Auto schlägt zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe, weil es Fahren sicherer macht, aber auch Leuten die Möglichkeit zum Auto fahren gibt, die sonst nich in der Lage wären, zu fahren.

Where does this expression come from?

Its true origins of this fun idiom are unknown. However, this expression exists in many languages. The Grimm brothers picked up this phrase and used it in one of their popular fairytales “The Valiant Little Tailor”. Here the tailor doesn’t just kill two flys but seven in one sweep. If you haven’t read this fairytale yet, you can watch it here:

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