In Germany, PIGS represent good luck…

A few years back, my often insightful Canadian brother in law made a brilliant observation about Germany and the German language.  He surmised that Germans tend to use the word Schwein (translation: PIG) in a tremendous amount of “off the cuff” slang.  Sometimes, of course, they use the word Sau (translation: um, Sow) instead.

Here are a few great German PIG phrases you will come across after speaking German for a while:

  • Schweine teuer:  Translation, ridiculously expensive
  • Sau lustig: Translation:  Very funny
  • Schweine reich:  Translation: Extremely rich
  • Sau viel Glueck: A ton of good luck.  To wish someone a Happy New Year, Germans traditionally hand out Marzipan PIGS.  You also find PIGS on a lot of birthday cards (believe it or not)

In English, we don’t tend to see PIGS in such a positive light.  For us, PIGS (and PIG meat–>PORK), all too often represent waste or obesity or excess.  During the last few weeks of government stimulus discussion, we have heard a lot of discussion around PORK.  Republicans don’t like (what they call) PORK passed into law by the Obama administration.  Others, like Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman, think the Obama administration has left too much good PORK on the table.

Lets hope the latest so-called PORK from Washington is good, savory PORK the economy can sink its teeth into.  After all, PIGS represent good luck in some countries (like Germany).  And, wasn’t Wilbur our favorite famous pig in Charlotte’s web?  Don’t you secretly have a soft spot in your heart for Miss PIGGY?  PETA even asks us to help “Save the PIGS” because they are “smart and friendly animals”.

In these difficult economic times, we need stimulus and action, we probably don’t need the type of negativity you find on this PORKY site.

Thanks to GOOD for the blog post inspiration tonight.

Photo Credit:  pigs_crop by johnmuk