Word Of The Week: Die Eierlegendewollmilchsau

Learning a new language is a permanent fixture on my bucket list, and so I have tried to learn (and then slowly forgotten) as much as I could language-wise in every country I’ve lived in. With the exception of Thai, where the same word could mean fish sauce or pussy juice based on the tone, I’ve managed to make some headway into small talk, at the very least.

And so, here I am in Germany, learning the good old Deutsch. And while it drives me crazy most days, there are some true gems in the language. Take for example their strange addiction to combining a tonne of words together to make an entirely new word.

This has resulted in the creation of a stunningly beautiful WORD – Die Eierlegendewollmilchsau.

Eier = Egg. Legende = Laying. Woll = Wool. Milch = Milk. Sau = Sow/Pig.

The word means precisely it’s literal translation. An egg laying, wolly, milk giving pig. This is the German word for ‘A Perfect Person’ or a superwoman, someone who can do everything and do it amazingly!

“Not only does my boss expect me to work on 3 projects at the same time, he also expects me to make him coffee, babysit his children and answer my phone at all times of day. What does he think I am? Die Eierladendewollmilchsau?!!”

Also interestingly, the article ‘the’, takes on the female form in German. Which means that this Eierladenwollmilchsau is a woman! But of course!

22 Comments Add yours

  1. forthemo says:

    (EN) Love your post and… love die deutsche Sprache😉. Thanks for sharing
    (IT) Mi piace molto il tuo post e…mi piace molto die deutsche Sprache😉. Grazie per la condivisione

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cupitonians says:

      And now I know a little Italian 😂 thank you for your comment

      Liked by 1 person

      1. forthemo says:

        (EN) Welcome…funny and beautiful world of languages😊
        (IT) Prego… divertente e bellissimo mondo delle lingue😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah. Portmanteau words taken to the extreme. Or perhaps not because I believe portmanteau words are supposed to be only two words melded. The Germans take everything to extremes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cupitonians says:

      Guess what ‘speed limit’ is in German? Geschwindishkeitbeschränkungen! 🙄🙄🙄

      Liked by 2 people

      1. autopict says:

        Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung is the correct term. But only in Germany (?) there are streets without Speed Limit.
        Ok, a riddle:
        During the day it is ‚das Korn und der Weizen‘, at the evening: ‚der Korn und das Weizen.‘
        Explain the difference!
        🙃😎😂🍺

        Liked by 1 person

        1. cupitonians says:

          Hahaha. I can’t believe I spelt it the way I pronounce it. My teacher would be so upset! And prost! I get the difference. Und jetzt werde ich mir ein Kölsch kaufen!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. colonialist says:

          Can’t, so you do please? Meaning, and why the der and das change places!

          Like

          1. cupitonians says:

            The change of article is the joke. Das Korn and Der Weizen indicates bread. Der Korn and Das Weizen indicates alcohol (brandy and beer respectively). It’s a very German thing that I hope I understood correctly 😂 both are made from the same raw materials

            Liked by 1 person

            1. colonialist says:

              That is fascinating! Mind you, I imagine a lot of major changes can come about by switching articles around! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              1. cupitonians says:

                I know. It’s completely insane and also amazing!

                Like

              2. autopict says:

                That’s it. Both words ‘Korn’ and ‘Weizen’ have a double meaning. Funnily, however, the articles are different.
                There is a guessing game (for kids) in Germany, they call it “Teekesselchen” (means small teapot (don’t ask why…)), so you have to guess two terms.
                You have to say:
                My ‘Teekesselchen’ you can drink. – With my ‘Teekesselchen’ you can bake bread.
                There are two solutions: der/das Korn (booze or schnapps / grain) and der/das Weizen (wheat / beer).

                Liked by 1 person

                1. colonialist says:

                  Oh, wow. English is certainly not alone in giving scope for wordplay!

                  Liked by 2 people

                2. cupitonians says:

                  Oooh yeah. We learnt about these just the other day. Like schlange is snake but also a long queue. It’s funny!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. autopict says:

                    Oh yes. There are sentences you can read from beginning to the end or vv. It‘s the same.
                    But the eierlegende Wollmilchsau is always great and every German knows about this (female) Specialist… 😎

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. cupitonians says:

                      I can’t wait to learn more!

                      Like

      2. autopict says:

        Oh a mistake by me: Geschwindigkeitsbeschränkung.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. colonialist says:

    I am proud that I was able to translate that without help, although when I got to the pig part I thought I had gone wrong.
    We have a classic in Afrikaans with a place name: Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein, or ‘two- buffalo-with-one-shot-shot-completely-dead-fountain’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. cupitonians says:

      Say what? 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 That word will give me night terrors! Is Afrikaans similar to German?

      Like

      1. colonialist says:

        Based on Dutch, German and a touch of French, plus influences from African languages.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. cupitonians says:

          If you add a bit of Spanish and mandarin to it. It’ll be the perfect language

          Liked by 1 person

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