10 Hilarious German Sausage Sayings to Try on Your Friends

In America, many of our everyday expressions revolve around baseball. “Can you give me a ballpark figure?” “Wow, Laura really struck out with that guy” or “Ryan hit that one out of the park!” are phrases that can be heard from the office to a teenage slumber party. As America’s favorite past time, it makes sense that the sport’s vocabulary is seen in our speech. But baseball isn’t very popular in the German-speaking world. Which leads to the question…what do the Germans love as much as we Americans love baseball?

Sausage. They love sausage.

Sausage, or “Wurst” as it’s known in German, is such a part of the culture in Germany and Austria that the food has found it’s way through to many phrases and idioms. How many different ways can you possibly use the word sausage, you ask? Take a look at the German sausage sayings below to find out…

  1. “Es ist mir wurst” – “It’s sausage to me”: In German, something is sausage to you if you just don’t care. While we use the phrase “It doesn’t matter to me” in English, the Germans like to use the word sausage as often as possible. And if you want to really sound like a local, shorten it to “Mir wurst” (To me, sausage.)                                                                                                               “What do you want to do Friday night, Hans?”                                                                                                   “To me, sausage, but thanks for asking”. 
  2. “Jetzt geht’s um die Wurst!” – “Now it’s about the sausage!”: What’s about the sausage, you ask? An important moment. This phrase is used during a race, a game, a big presentation, etc., to emphasize that this is the time where one wins or loses, succeeds or fails. The final game of the Stanley Cup, for instance, is “about the sausage.” Obviously.                                                  .

3. “sich durchwursteln” – “to sausage yourself through”: If that sounds a little uncomfortable, don’t worry. “To sausage yourself through” simply means “to get through something, to scrape by”. So next time your best friend is stressed out, give her a little pat on the shoulder and tell her all she has to do is sausage herself through. She’ll make it in the end.

4. “Spiel nicht die beleidigte Leberwurst” – “Don’t act like an insulted liverwurst!”: Really, you don’t want to do that. To act like an insulted liverwurst means “to sulk or to pout”. So cheer up, little liverwurst, nobody likes a sulking sausage.  

Sometimes when I’m bored, I open up the refrigerator and insult the liver wurst.

 

 5. “Verwurstelt” – “All sausaged up”: What could this mean, you wonder? Well, “tangled up,” of course. In my German-speaking household, my Austrian husband often gets a little miffed (there should be a sausage expression for that one) if I forget to turn both my shirt sleeves right-side out before putting the clothes in the washer. A common saying when hanging up wet clothes in our house is “Ah, these shirts are all verwurstelt! Why do you do this? Why?” A sausaged-up T-shirt apparently does not fit with the German concept of order and organization.

6. “Jemandem eine Extrawurst braten” – “To fry someone an extra sausage”: If you fry someone an extra sausage, you are giving them special treatment. Everyone else only got one sausage. Why did she get two? So, if you are an “Extrawurst” yourself, you are someone who expects to be treated better or to get more of something. The Austrians, at least, make this sound a little bit cuter, adding in a nice “l” at the end and calling those divas “Extrawurstl” (“little extra sausage”).

7. “Armes Würstchen” – “Poor little sausage”: Exactly what it sounds like. Being called a “poor little sausage” could mean that the speaker feels sorry for you, but more often than not it means you’re complaining too much. Picture it in a sarcastic, fake-sweet voice “Aw, you poor little sausage!” Just make sure not to act like an insulted liverwurst if it happens.

8. “sich die Wurst vom Brot nehmen lassen” -“To let someone take the sausage from your bread”: The horror! Then you really would be a poor little sausage. “To let someone take the sausage from your bread” means to be taken advantage of. So, stand up for yourself, guard your sausage and you will be sure to sausage through.

9. “herumwursteln” – “to sausage around”: In America, we fiddle around or tinker about, but in this meat-loving language, they sausage around. Why not?

10. “Es hat alles ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei” – “Everything has an end; only a sausage has two (ends)”:  A good sausage to end on. Thank you, logical Germans. They kindly (and, of course, rationally) let us know that everything will come to end, but the sausage never will. Long live the sausage!

 

*For more information about translating your German tourism/travel texts, and for additional cultural and language posts, check out my sister site: SK Translations: Travel and Tourism.*

 

8 thoughts on “10 Hilarious German Sausage Sayings to Try on Your Friends

  1. Nancy says:

    What a fun post, Katherine. Thank you. I love how little by little you further my understanding of the German language. I wonder if my German grand- and great-grandparents ever used any of these idioms.

    • SK Translations says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Nancy! I’m sure they did use some of them – I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at the history of the phrases, but I know that some have been around for many decades or longer.

  2. Carsten says:

    Hmm,

    In the region where I grew up no 8 is known with “die Butter” nicht vom Brot nehmen lassen (Wilhelmshaven in the north of Germany).

    Wurst-Fan Carsten

    • SK Translations says:

      That’s interesting – I enjoy learning how the various phrases can change depending on the region. Thanks for sharing (love the Wurst-Fan, by the way!)

  3. Valerie Pfeifle says:

    I love this post because it made me laugh. I am a native German speaker and a German teacher and of course I use these “sausage” phrases except for #8 (I say:sich nicht die Butter vom Brot nehmen lassen).
    When we use these idiomatic expressions, we don’t associate them with actual sausages. We don’t even think of the literal meaning.
    That is why I had to laugh so much imagining all these sausages and looking at the picture of the “beleidigte Leberwurst”
    So, Nancy, Thank you for this post!
    Here is another one: Alte Wursthaut
    You can greet a good friend with “alte Wursthaut” (=old sausage skin) This is NOT an insult!
    😂

    • SK Translations says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Valerie! You’re the second person to say that about the butter idiom, so I wonder if certain regions say “sausage” and others say “butter.”

      I like the Alte Wursthaut idiom! Also a good one 🙂

      Thanks for reading!
      Katherine

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