Home > Uncategorized > Colloquial German – the “eierlegende Wollmilchsau”

Colloquial German – the “eierlegende Wollmilchsau”

Here is another way to impress Germans with your knowledge of their language:

Learn how to say “eierlegende Wollmillsau”, and use it in your daily conversation with them.

You can just mix this word with English and you will have demonstrated your competency in German because -

First: this is an 8 syllable expression.  It’s not easy to say it clearly.

Second: this is an extremely colloquial saying.  Non-Germans who only learned Hochdeutsch are not supposed to know this.

Third: there is a deep concept behind this word.  Knowing this word means you know German culture.

So what does eierlegende Wollmilchsau mean?  Word for word translation: egg-laying wool-milk sow.

It’s a German fantasy animal that can provide everything that a useful animal should – eggs, wool, milk, offspring and eventually meat.  I call it the “German engineeered animal” because in other languages they probably couldn’t express the ’5 in 1′ wish so vividly using just 8 syllables.  I totally won’t be surprised if there is some laboratory in Germany where someone is really trying to invent this animal still…

As you can probably guess by now, this expression is used if you want to say that someone is a perfectionist.  Here are some sample expressions:

“Oh I know German (businessmen / researchers / engineers).  They are just always looking for eierlegende Wollmilchsaus wherever they go.”

“My boss wants me to be an eierlegende Wollmilchsau.  I am already laying eggs and providing wool, but still it is not enough. N0w he wants milk too…”

“Our company is developing a new strategy: to create the eierlegende Wollmilchsau.  Cheap, quick, and good at the same time.  Probably can’t do it, but oh well…”

Thanks to Toby for reminding me about this word.  Lol.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 30, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Pleasure!

    Now please try to find similar expressions in other languages. Guess there should be some…

    The French have a similar animal but not as good as the german one ;). Its the “poule aux œufs d’or”. I guess it means “Chicken made from golden eggs” or sth. like that. It’s a term used in business afaik.

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