Give Me a Meter of Milk!

I’m a gallon of milk girl.

But these days I live in Germany where they use the metric system. There’s no such thing as a gallon of milk.

I can get a bigger beer at a festival than I can a container of milk at the grocery store. While a typical carton of milk is 1 liter, a glass of beer ranges in size from 1-3 liters.

German Beer

If you ask me, milk should only come in a single serving size if it’s part of a school lunch.  It’s downright frustrating!

But I have a solution.  Give me a meter of milk!  Sound foolish?

It’s not!  A meter is a bona fide serving size in Germany.  Check it out:

Meter Popcorn

One Meter Popcorn

For those watching their weight, there’s the ever-popular half-meter:

German Bratwurst

German Food

I’ll say one thing – if I ever convince the powers that be to produce a meter of milk, someone better send me a kilometer of Oreos!!

More like this:

Stop Sausaging Around

I’ll Have the Wiener Art


Beer Language School


Beer… something I know.

The German language … something I don’t know. The key to learning something new is to relate what you don’t know to what you do know. Germans love their beer … so what better way to learn their language?

Many English words for beer come from German, so we can use this knowledge as a starting point. Though it’s spelled differently, both languages use the same word – beer or Bier (Why did I capitalize it? See below!) – to describe this much-loved beverage. So the good news is… even if you don’t know any German at all, you can always order one of these frosty drinks!

Here are a few things you can learn at Beer Language School:


The word Bier teaches us two things about the German language: First, all nouns are capitalized in German, not just proper nouns. (But the pronoun ‘I‘ (ich) isn’t capitalized. What does that tell you about German priorities?) Next, when it comes to pronunciation, if two vowels are ‘walking’ … the second vowel does the talking. For instance, in the word Bier, the ‘e‘ sound is pronounced. Check out the next word to see what I mean…


This is the German word for white.  It’s pronounced Vice.  The second vowel (i) does the talking.  Weiss also teaches us one more thing: W in German is pronounced like a V.  What about V?  It’s pronounced like an F.  What about F?  It’s pronounced like an F!!!   (I didn’t say this would be easy!)

Never heard of Weissbier?  You may have heard it called Hefeweizen (literally yeast wheat).


This word comes from the German word lagern, which means to store. Beer was invented before refrigerators, so beer was often brewed in the winter and then stored in a cool place until summer. Now you know your first German verb! Lagern, to store. Let’s try a couple of adjectives…



If you curse while you’re drinking, be aware that if you say “Hell!’ you might end up with another beer in your hands. Hell is the German word for light, and it’s often used to refer to a light beer.


If you prefer darker beers, then you probably know the word Dunkel … the German word for dark. The letter ‘u’ is pronounced differently in German. If you want to sound like a true German, don’t pronounce it  ‘dunk-el,’ say ‘doonk-el.”


No discussion of German beer would be complete without mentioning a beer stein! Stein is the German word for stone. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Steins are a type of stoneware. But wait – there’s more! There is also a type of beer called Steinbier. It’s made by dropping hot stones into the brew. If you come across one of these, give it a try – this type of beer is becoming quite rare!

You’ve completed you first lesson at Beer Language School! You now know the German words for beer, white, light, dark, stone, and to store. You also learned some pronunciation tips and even a little history.

Not planning a trip to Germany? Oh well – at least this weekend you can impress your friends. (But if you’re not in Germany and you decide to say “Hell!” to your server… better watch out!)

By the way …  there’s actually a German Beer Institute if you want to learn more!

5 Funny German Words

5 More Funny German Words


A Piggy Peep Show

Need some good luck this year?  Grab a pig!  In Germany and many other parts of the world, pigs are considered good luck. Fresh out of swiney charms? I’ll show you a place where you can find over 40,000!

The place is called the Stuttgart Schweine Museum. According to the Guinness Book of World Records it boasts the much-coveted honor of being the world’s largest Pig Museum.

With a place like this, who needs the Louvre?

The Mona Lisa’s got nothing on this:


Then there’s the Statue of Pigerty:


And the Piggy Peep Show:


Duck inside this secret room and peek through the heart-shaped windows to see piggies in compromising positions. According to the exhibit, the German word Schweinkram means “nasty stuff.” Pigs have long been associated with fertility and all that goes with it. Pigs also have a reputation for being “dirty.”


The museum is educational, too. You can learn about the theory of Evolution:


Or learn how to say ‘pig’  in multiple languages, including the ever useful Morse code:


The museum has something for everyone, including ties for dad:


Stuffed animals for the kids (the museum claims plush pigs were invented 10 years before the teddy bear):


And for mom, there are plenty of goodies for bed, bath, and beyond…


There’s serious art, too:


And of course, no pig museum worth it’s bacon would be complete without piggie banks:


If you visit, be careful what you say. This is a place where pigs really do fly:


And if you work up an appetite exploring all 29 rooms, the museum has a restaurant. The food is actually quite good if you can get past some of the menu descriptions. (What are the best pieces of pork knuckle?)


Some final thoughts by Sir Winston Churchill:

“I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”


More Piggy Posts:

Stop Sausaging Around

Happy Yellow Pig Day


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.


I’ll Have the Wiener Art

In Germany, a menu is called a Speisekarte. “Menu” is short for Tagesmenu, which lists the daily specials.


If you ever go to a German restaurant, you may find yourself completely mystified by the process of Germany dining. Assuming you’re able to translate the menu enough to order a meal (what is wiener art, anyway?) you might find yourself stymied by a number of other oddities.

The strange snuffling sound coming from under the table next to you? Yes, that’s a dog. Dogs are allowed in even some of the nicest restaurants. Fido is likely to be served a refreshing bowl of water before you get your Hefeweisen.

As for your food, if you find yourself plate-less while your companions are filling their bellies, you haven’t been forgotten. In Germany, food is brought out when it’s ready, not all at the same time.

And when the meal is finished, you may have to perform a table dance to get your bill. If you wait for the server to deliver it, you’ll go cross-eyed trying to stare him or her down. They’re not inattentive…in Europe, when you sit down to a meal, the table is yours…a server would never rush you off by bringing the bill.

When you do pay, make sure your wallet is full of cash. The server will stand at the table and wait. They’ll pull out a little wallet and dole out your change right then (they’re whizzes at doing math in their heads). Many places in Germany don’t take credit cards. Don’t be fooled by the symbols in the window…Germans have cards with a special “EC” chip in them. If you don’t have cash, you might find yourself washing a sinkful of beer steins.

A few more tips:

  • You may be delighted when your server brings you a basket of rolls or pretzels, but if you accept them, you may be charged for each one. The same goes for packets of ketchup.
  • If you stand at the door of a restaurant waiting to be seated, you may be there all night. In Germany, restaurants are usually seat-yourself.
  • Don’t be surprised if one day you are dining at a busy restaurant and complete strangers sit down with you. Germans don’t let empty seats go wasted.
  • A fifteen percent gratuity is already included in the bill, so you don’t need to leave a big tip. A euro or two is always appreciated, of course, but don’t leave it on the table. Hand it directly to the server.
  • If you ask for water, you will receive bottled water…and a bill. Go ahead and try to finagle a glass of tap water, but don’t be surprised if you’re met with a blank stare. Germans think it’s uncouth!

So there you have it…the mysteries of German dining solved. I’m afraid you’re on your own with reading the menu, but I’ll tell you this…Wiener Art means Viennese Style.

(Which isn’t nearly as interesting as what I had in mind!)