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another string to your bow

This page is about the idiom another string to your bow

British English


If you have another string to your bow, you have another way of making a living.

For example

  • Lots of people learn to teach English so they'll have another string to their bow.

  • I've lost my job and I'll have to retrain for something else. I wish I already had another string to my bow.

Origin: Probably metaphorical, from the fact that if an archer has a spare string for their bow, they can still shoot an arrow even if their first string breaks.


This idiom is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

John's a truck driver, but he wants another string to his bow so he's going to

a. take up archery

b. do a bartending course

c. go fishing on weekends
a) take up archery b) do a bartending course c) go fishing on weekends

See Idiom of the Day today

Contributor: Matt Errey