Tag Archives: German compound nouns

Toilet humour

My hot German flatmate has a thing for British men. Or at least she did until I ruined all British men for her – forever. This was, of course, unintentional. All I did was mention my new favourite topic – the Sitzpinkel.

What you talkin' 'bout, Linda?
What you talkin’ ’bout, Linda?

For those of you not in the know, the “Sitzpinkel” literally translates as “sitpee”, or to pee sitting down, another great German compound noun.

So, what’s so special about that? Women have always sat down to pee – unless they’re Latvian. Ah, but we’re not talking about women; we’re talking about men. Yes, it’s true – proud, strong German men sit down to pee. And, for some reason, I find this massively entertaining.

Coming from a country where the men stand, pee, splash and drip with reckless abandon, I can, of course, see the advantage of the Sitzpinkel. (And Irish men don’t even have the horrors of Germanpooshelfsplashback to contend with.)

toiletsigngermanwolfgang

As I’m probably one of the most inappropriate people you’ll ever meet, I’ve been doing a little survey of my male friends and acquaintances. Here are the results:

Sit Pee-ers:

Ze Germans

Possibly the Swedes

Stand Pee-ers: 

The Irish

The Brits

The Americans

The Australians

The Latvians

The Lithuanians

The Belarussians

The Russians…

Then I ran out of friends.

I know of one British guy who married a Swede. They had a son and eventually got divorced. So now, when Sven spends time with mummy, he pees like a good Swedish boy; when he spends time with daddy, he pees like a proud Brit. Must be confusing.

My flatmates, Hildeberta and Hildegard, were absolutely horrified to learn that the two English friends I’d had in the flat had probably peed standing up. I think that I’m now banned from having non-German men over.

Our loo - where no Englishman will ever go again
Our loo – where no Englishman will ever go again

As they do the bulk of the cleaning anyway, I guess I can live with that. German women expect, nay, demand, that their men Sitzpinkel, while to me, all of this tucking in business is just a little… unmanly? In fact, when I think of the Sitzpinkel, this is the image that usually springs to mind:

Buffalo Willy
Buffalo Willy

And I do not want to think of German men in this way.

But I guess the Sitzpinkel is something I can’t change – German men tuck and I have to accept that. However, for all of you standpee-ers out there, if you ever want to be in with a chance with a German woman, you’d better be prepared to get tucked.

 

Images taken from here and here.

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.