How Sausage Flavors the German Language

By Giulia Pines with BBC

It was all but inevitable that pork would become thoroughly baked into the German psyche, its savoury juices trickling down into everyday speech.

When I awoke to grey skies and pouring rain on my wedding day, everyone had something to say about it. Poised to marry in a country garden north of Berlin, I was quickly surrounded by well-meaning Germans with plenty of aphorisms on hand.

The one that came up most often was the classic ‘Viel Regen bringt viel Segen’ or ‘lots of rain brings many blessings’, which I suspected was less a time-tested truth than a means of consoling an inconsolable bride. My father-in-law, however, only looked at me sadly, shaking his head and repeating ‘Schweinewetter, Schweinewetter’ (‘Pig weather’)

Those concerned with how much we’d invested in the big day might have discussed how I’d spent ‘Schweinegeld’ (‘pig money’ or a lot of money). Still others, in an effort to get me to buck up, could have declared, ‘Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei’ (‘Everything has an end; only the sausage has two’).

Visitors to Germany love to joke about the country’s obsession with all things sausage, but Germans don’t do anything to discourage them. In fact, their speech is littered with references to Wurst; full of idioms that speak to the timelessness and intrinsic value of their meat products.