faire d’une pierre deux coups

The French expression “faire d’une pierre deux coups” translates literally to “make two strikes with one stone”. The meaning in English is:

  • to kill two birds with one stone.

According to expressio.fr, the expression dates to the 16th century when used by Montaigne. A French-to-French definition suggests that the idiom means to reach two or more objectives with one single action or means.

sample sentence:

  • En arrêtant de fumer, j’ai fait d’une pierre deux coups: J’ai recouvré la santé et j’ai commencé a dépenser moins d’argent. By stopping smoking I killed two birds with one stone: got healthy and started spending less money.

Here are some other expression with the word pierre (stone):

  • apporter sa pierre à l’édifice to play your part, do your bit
  • avoir un cœur de pierre to have a heart of stone
  • geler à pierre fendre to be very cold
  • jeter la pierre à qqn to judge somebody
  • manger au lance-pierre to grab a quick bite to eat
  • marquer qqch d’une pierre blanche to be a landmark event

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