We Germans are selfish at times and always desire to have the last word. In fact, adding our mustard to everything—not only to a delicious pork chop—is a typical trait.
This is a follow-up to our previous post on German idioms.
everything is in butter
Don’t think twice about your figure if asked by a German person whether everything is in butter. They just aren’t aware of the fact that butter has different connotations in other cultures. While it’s true that Germans like butter on everything (especially their morning roll), this phrase is simply a friendly inquiry as to whether or not everything is going according to plan. So don’t be too quick to answer that you prefer olive oil; butter is just fine.
throw the sausage after the flitch of bacon
Speaking of greasy things, don’t take it too literally if a German accuses you of throwing the sausage after the flitch of bacon. As a vegetarian, I wouldn’t be caught dead throwing meat around; however, I cannot deny having thrown a sausage here and there to catch the bacon. We all know that sausages are of a lesser quality than bacon, and this phrase should be understood as an attempt to reach a larger goal with a small effort.
add your mustard to it
We Germans are selfish at times and always desire to have the last word. In fact, adding our mustard to everything—not only to a delicious pork chop—is a typical trait. But who am I kidding; I haven’t eaten pork for years. Nevertheless, when discussing current affairs at a Stammtisch, I like to add my mustard to the conversation. Ok, some explanation might be helpful here. Instead of adding our two cents to something, Germans add mustard (perhaps because it goes well with everything and has a good bite to it).
small livestock creates dung too
You might ask yourself, why should you care about German idioms and their silly cuts of meat? I will tell you that small livestock creates dung, too. A farmer will understand this very popular idiom, making its rounds in German villages. Even seemingly trivial endeavors, like translating idioms, have a purpose.
Some other idioms to consider or stick to your fridge when you are low on butter:
It’s like milking mice. – It’s impossible to achieve (the image here is quite disturbing).
To have a damaged roof – to be crazy
This will end up in the pants. – It will fail.
You have to pull the worms one by one from his/her nose. – He/She is holding back information. (This idiom comes from the Middle Ages, when worms were the cause of much hardship.)
That won’t go into my bag! – I won’t stand for it!
I think my pig is whistling! – That’s a bunch of nonsense!