As happy as a pig in shit

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve finally cracked the German language. It turns out it’s not as difficult as everyone makes out either.

It will come as a surprise to absolutely no one that Germans really love pork – in fact, they eat approximately 0.15kg of pork a day. Therefore, I guess it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that so many porky expressions permeate the language.

So now, instead of spending years trying to learn the vagaries of the German language, I’ve decided to communicate mainly through the use of piggy expressions.

Elvis the Pig has been helping me with my extensive research.
Elvis the Pig has been helping me with my extensive research.

Here are my top eight pig-related German expressions (or, to be more correct, the only eight I know).

8. Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei

Everything has an end, only the sausage has two. Pretty self-explanatory and quite profound in a porky sort of way.

7. Unter aller Sau

The literal translation of this one would be “under all pig (or sow)”, which doesn’t really make much sense to the average English speaker. However, when you imagine what usually lies  under all pigs, then it starts to become a little clearer. I guess you could translate it as “everything is in total shit or chaos” – something Germans do not like.

6. Ich habe die Schnauze voll

I believe the original version of this one was “Ich habe die Nase voll” but, naturally, the Germans had to porkify it. And so, “I have the full nose” became “I have the full snout”, which does not mean that your nose is blocked. No, it means that you’ve had enough of something.

5. Eierlegendewollmilchsau

Ah, one of those brilliant German compound nouns, but what on earth does it mean? Translating it doesn’t provide much help either – an egg-laying wool milk sow.


German engineering gone mad?

I can’t even think of an English equivalent for this one but the basic idea is that you’ve got one animal that can lay eggs, grow wool, produce milk, and even give you bacon and sausages. So, for example, if someone is asking you to do more work than you can cope with, you could yell, “For God’s sake! I’m not an egg-laying wool milk sow! There’s only so much I can do!” At least I think that’s how you could use it…

4. Ich glaube, mein Schwein pfeift

Literally, “I think my pig is whistling.” Obviously, pigs don’t normally whistle, not even German pigs, so this one expresses great surprise.

3. Der Kummerspeck

Grief bacon. Initially a bit of an oxymoron to me as bacon induces anything but grief in me. More accurately, it’s the excess weight that you gain from comfort eating in times of heartache. (Snigger.)

2. Es ist mir Wurst

If you translate it word for word, it means “It is to me total sausage”, or to put it into words that people can understand, it means “I don’t care about this at all”.

Combining Irish and German culture
Combining Irish and German culture

And my absolute, all-time favourite:

1. Jetzt geht es um die Wurst

Or “Now it gets about the sausage”, which means “Now it’s time to get serious” or “It’s now or never”. As I’ve mentioned before, Germans take their sausages very seriously so if a German says this to you, you might want to start running.

So, you’ve seen my top eight porky German idioms, but maybe you’re struggling to see how I could get by communicating through porky idioms alone. Well, for example, imagine that I’m breaking up with my imaginary German boyfriend. This is how that conversation could go:

Me: I have a full snout. It’s over.

Dagobert: But why? We’re so good together, baby! 

Me: Everything has an end. Only the sausage has two. 

Dagobert: But I don’t want this to end! 

Me: Huh. Our relationship is under all pig. I think you know that.

Dagobert: But I thought everything was perfect! 

Me: You expect too much. I’m not an egg-laying wool milk sow, you know. 

Dagobert: I think my pig is whistling. I wasn’t expecting this.

Me: It’s all sausage to me. 

Dagobert: But why now??

Me: Now it gets about the sausage.

Dagobert: But, but…

Me: Oh, just leave me in peace. I need to get my grief bacon on. 

Hopefully it’s now clear how my new approach to German language-learning will work. Or maybe I’m just throwing my pearls before swine?

The image of the egg-laying wool milk sow was taken from here.

89 thoughts on “As happy as a pig in shit”

  1. Your posts always leave me with a big grin… or as happy as a pig in shit, so to speak. My bro in law says ‘it’s sausage to me’ in French – “ça m’est saucisse” – because he lived in Dusseldorf for years. He has also adopted the great “…oder?” that they still on the end of affirmative sentences to cast doubt on them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elvis is a total diva now 🙂 He knows he’s famous! That link was really funny as well! I think I’ve just about managed to nail loading my shopping bags at the warp speed they beep items through at. It takes a lot of practice!


          1. cmon its still a lot better then stand there and wait untill the british cashier beeps your stuff through and then packs it for you takes AGES: I prefer the german way even though I do feel guilty if I havent put everything in time and the cashier looks at me sternly.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah, the first few times I was in shock! That was when I was staying in the ‘sex-swing’ flat and shopping at the local Penny. Now I think I’ve got the hang of it. I even tut at the person in front of me if they don’t get out of the way fast enough 😉


  2. Unfortunately, I was drinking coffee while reading this. Snork. 🙂

    And, “porkify” — you created a new word! Very descriptive. It gets my vote to be added to the dictionary referenced above. In fact, all your phrases, and especially your translated use of them in sentences, get my vote to be added to Urban Dictionary!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, you certainly didn’t make a pig’s ear out of this post 😉 Very funny, the Eierlegendewollmilchsau is hilarious, I’m racking my brains trying to think of an English equivalent but I can’t even come close!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How can “sausage” mean both “something I don’t care about” and “something to get serious about”? I guess Wurst is an all-purpose word! Like in English, “That’s a worthless pile of shit” vs. “Say, that’s some good shit!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. btw I do have a problem with english speakers constantly using the word shit on every occasion…. from “I dont give a shit” to “this shit is the bomb” etc. I feel like using hog or sausage references is a better option=)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha, funny, another reader (Linnet) just made the same point! Well, from now on, this English speaker will be using sausage references – it will be the sausage 🙂


        1. I know she made the same point I was replying to her…. as far as I understand how this forum works….

          btw if we speak about food what is your favourite type of sausage in Germany so far? I love knackwurst and riesencurrywurst (a huge curry wurst that has not been cut in pieces)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ha, oops, I was just up from my nap so didn’t notice who you were replying to as I was still a bit dopey 🙂 I love the Berliner Currywurst of course! And some of the Bavarian ones are nice – can’t remember what they’re called though. Think I’ll go for some Maultaschen later – I have a craving 🙂


    1. Well, they might be being funny – sometimes it’s hard to tell 😉 Nice to have you back! I was just thinking about you as I was writing that post as I needed to find the BBC documentary you posted for the pork statistic! 🙂


  5. Its all sausage to me is my favourite. and please let me tell you once again how bad english sausage is compared to german. and dont even get me started on american hot dogs. no.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Here’s another one for you: Schwein haben. meaning to be lucky. Like if you drop a wine bottle but manage to catch it just before it hits the floor and smashes everywhere you can say “Phew, Schwein gehabt!” (That was lucky!”)

    You can also ad sau to the beginning of lots of other words (everything? not sure) to mean very/extremely: saudumm, saublöd, sauschnell, sauteuer. I wouldn’t use any of those in formal conversation though. Oh, and Sauwetter is nasty weather.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. another one for you – sau rauslassen (to let the pig out) means to pretty much do any nasty thing you wanna do (have sex get drunk etc) but in a negative way; like the british tourists often go to eastern europe to let the pig out – that kind of way

        Liked by 2 people

          1. That one will probably come in very handy after I ‘Sau rauslassen’ 🙂 And yes, yes you do!! I said that to a few Germans during the week while I was thinking about this post and they were like “Huh? Nah. Well, I never really thought about it. Hmm…” It’s all coming out now!


    1. Have both 😉 Glad to have brightened up your day! I kind of want to get a German boyfriend now, just to break up with him in German. He’d have to follow the script carefully though 😉

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ha, no I hadn’t heard it before! I guess I’m pretty in tune with my inner demon so I don’t really need a separate name for him 😉 My flatmate also told me ‘die Sau rauslassen’ which is what I do every weekend according to some 😉

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this is my favourite post to date as well! It was so much fun to write – and it’s so much fun learning German! 🙂 There’s always a whistling pig in store! 🙂


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