a bird never flew on one wing

Mainly Scottish and Irish. Now frequently used to justify a further gift, esp. another drink.

1721 J. KELLY Scottish Proverbs 308 The Bird must flighter [flutter] that flies with one Wing. Spoken by them who have Interest only in one side of the House.

1824 S. FERRIER Inheritance III. xxxii. ‘The bird maun flichter that flees wi’ ae wing’—but ye’s haud up your head yet in spite o’ them a’.

1914 K. F. PURDON Folk of Furry Farm ii. He held out a shilling to Hughie. ‘A bird never yet flew upon the one wing, Mr. Heffernan!’ said Hughie, that was looking to get another shilling.

1925 S. O’CASEY Juno & Paycock III. 89 Fourpence, given to make up the price of a pint, on th’ principle that no bird ever flew on wan wing.

1980 J. O’FAOLAIN No Country for Young Men iii. I’ll just have another quick one. A bird never flew on wan wing.


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