Stop Sausaging Around

Not in a good mood today?
Then try our sausage. Works immediately!

After beer and bread, the most important staple in the German diet is sausage.

Germans call it Wurst. It’s pronounced vurst.

In honor of the wonderful German tradition of Oktoberfest (yes, I know it’s still September…I’ll explain later), I thought we’d spend a few minutes chatting about the Wurst.

Germans serve up over 1500 kinds of sausage. The most popular variety is the curry wurst. Every year, Germans eat 800 million. There isn’t a German menu out there that doesn’t include sausage in some form or another.

With wurst being such an important part of the German lifestyle, it’s pretty much a given that sausages will have made their way into the culture’s expressions and sayings. I challenge you to sneak one of these into your next conversation:

Six Sausage Sayings

1. Das ist mir Wurst – That’s sausage to me (It’s all the same to me/I don’t care).

2. Jetzt geht’s um die Wurst – Now it’s about the sausage (It’s now or never/crunch time).

3. Wurst wider Wurst – Tit for Tat.

4. Herumwursteln – Sausaging around (Messing around).

5. Spiel nicht die beleidigte Leberwurst – Don’t play the sore liver sausage (Don’t be such a whiner/sourpuss).

6. Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei – Everything has an end; only the sausage has two.

So there you have it. Six sausage sayings. Just what you always wanted. Now you can tell your kids, “Don’t play the sore liver sausage” or “Stop sausaging around” and they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about (they never do anyway, right?).

Now to reveal the reason why I’m talking about Oktoberfest in September…

The tradition began in 1810 with the wedding of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria. To celebrate his nuptials, he threw a big bash near Munich. Germans have continued the tradition every year since. They start drinking beer on a Saturday in September and don’t stop until 16-18 days later on the first Sunday in October.

I guess calling the biggest beer-drinking party in the world Septemberfest just wouldn’t sound as cool. Oh well, das ist mir Wurst.

It’s all sausage to me.


62 thoughts on “Stop Sausaging Around

  1. My maternal grandparents were German and I had to read this because they made liverwurst and other sausages twice a year when they butchered.As a little girl it was my job to crank the sausage stuffer.They smoked sausage too in a smoke house my grandpa built.Thank you for this post and congrats on being FPed.It brought a lot of memories back for me.

  2. This post was the wurst. Teehee. We have a german bar in my hometown called Wurst and I make that joke every time.

    Octoberfest reminds me of March Madness in that most of it takes place outside of the month that is in its name.

  3. Rah! My sausage-related vocabulary has just hit warp speed – this is a very exciting day for me!

    When I was a kid, we used to play a game called “sausage” in the car. If it was your turn, I’d ask you a question like “Hey, what’s that hanging out of your ear?” and you’d have to answer “A sausage”, whilst keeping a straight face. If you cracked, game over, my turn. Whoever answers the most questions wins 🙂 So good.

  4. “stop sausaging around.” i’m adding that one to my list of motherly sayings and will use it on my kids as soon as humanly possible. my husband is german, so i think he’ll appreciate my effort to speak his mother tongue at home. how do you say “stop” in german? 😉


    • Stop is stoppen. However, “Stop it” appears to be hör auf damit (according to Google translate). I’m not sure how it would be used in this phrase. Perhaps a German reader would be so kind as to enlighten us!

      • Tom from Germany says:

        Saying #4 really sounds funny in english 😀
        stop also means stop or hör auf.
        I have some more funny german sayings like
        Ich glaub mein Schwein pfeift – I think my pig whistles (= I can’t believe it!)
        Mit mir ist nicht gut Kirschen essen – with me it’s not good cherry-eating (= you better don’t mess with me)
        Ich bin mit meinem Latein am Ende – I’m finished with my latin (= I don’t know what to do now)
        Du bist auf dem Holzweg – you’re on the woodway (= you’re totally wrong)
        Keiner kann mir das Wasser reichen – no one can reach me the water (= nobody is better than me)

    • Hör auf! means Stop it, if you are talking about an action. Halt! or Stop! (this one is easy lol) means Stop, if you want them to stop moving.

      Loved this post! It’s always great to look into the mirror of cultural ridiculousness!

    • As Aurora Night said, you could simply say, “Stop”
      Or, closer to “stop it” in meaning,
      “hör auf” or “Schluss damit”
      Here in Austria, a popular way of ending a discussion/argument is, “Aus, Schluss, basta!” – basically three words meaning the same thing, with the last “adopted” from Italian.

  5. is this for real, do germans really say these things in conversation?? i love it!!

    I was fortunate enough to try a fantastic spiced bratwurst at a german market, outdoors, at christmas time (before I became a vegetarian lol 😉 )

    there is nothing quite like sitting in an outdoor pop-up pub, snow around you with a heady mix of traditional (and in my opinion, unrivalled) german beer in tankards and spicey, piping hot sausage slopping in tangy ketchup! it was honest to god one of the best meals I’ve ever tasted and it was cooked in a massice bronze dish right in front of me! the germans really know how to treat their travelling customer 😀

    • Yup, we do. Well, I’m Austrian, not German, so I say “Wurscht” rather than “Wurst”, and I’ve never heard or used #3, but the other five are quite common.

      I have my own version of #1: “Das ist ein Käse, aber es ist Wurst” – literally, “that’s cheese, but it’s sausage” – meaning, “that’s crap, but it doesn’t matter.”

      There’s another one: “durchwursteln”, “to sausage through”, means to muddle or bumble through.

      There are some other Austrian German expressions about sausage-type foods that don’t actually use the word “sausage”:
      “Blunzn”, literally “black pudding”, means something like “stupid cow”.
      And “Habt ihr zu Hause einen Leberkäse?”, literally “Do you have Leberkäse (sort of sausage-like stuff) at home?” is a not-very-friendly way of reminding someone to close a door. Yeah, I don’t understand it either!

  6. LOVE! From a 1st generation American. Born to a German immigrant who would not allow us to put ketchup on our wurst or hamburger or any other meat for that matter when we were kids.

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