German Food Idioms

German food idioms can be hilarious, since they often reflect German culture & especially German food culture so accurately. Let's have a look at the German idioms that revolve around beers, sausages, bread & potatoes.

German food idioms can be hilarious, since they so accurately reflect German food culture.

There are also quite a few German idioms, that revolve around beers, sausages & bread. In this article, we've collected a few of the funnier ones.

German Food Idioms

Es geht um die Wurst

Now the literal translation would be "now it's about the sausage". What is meant by this expression is more like "it's now or never":

Es steht jetzt 1:1 und in 5 Minuten ist das Spiel vorbei! Jetzt müssen wir alles geben und versuchen noch ein Tor zu schießen! Jetzt geht's um die Wurst!

This would be a classic example for using this expression. You'll also often hear it in German game shows - if you're into that sort of thing!

Das ist nicht mein Bier

A list of German food idioms wouldn't be complete without mentioning beer at least once. Here is an expression that does exactly that:

Ich mag RnB und Rockmusik, aber deutscher Schlager ist wirklich nicht mein Bier.

Saying that something isn't "your beer" means that it's not your cup of tea: It's not your style.

Die beleidigte Leberwurst spielen

When a German says to you that you "play the insulted sausage" or "act like the insulted sausage", this maens that he or she thinks that you're a bit butthurt over something:

Jetzt spiel doch nicht die beleidigte Leberwurst! Ich war doch nur einen Abend mit Omar feiern.

Das ist ein alter Schinken

When something is an "alter Schinken" that means that it's a thick old book. The reason for this is that books used to be bound in leather and would thus literally (no pun intended) look like a chunky piece of cured ham.

Was liest du denn da? Das sieht aber aus wie ein richtig alter Schinken! Oh, es ist Kants 'Kritik der reinen Vernunft'?

Today, the expression is also sometimes used to say that a book is maybe not quite up to the times anymore and maybe not worth reading - but this connotation does not have to come with it.

Weggehen wie warme Semmeln

Literal Translation: to go like warm rolls 🥖 Meaning: to sell like hotcakes (to be snapped up quickly)

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