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Some confirmation on some 'German sayings'


These are something I looked up this morning I am not very good at my German but I think it would be super cool if when I do have an opportunity or some 'tunity comes up I can say something cool! I would prefer that I didn't just randomly say that there was a rabbit in the pepper or that my sausage has two sides so please check weather or not theses sentences are not wrong. Danke

Größe liebe,


October 24, 2017


  • 1618

I've been trying to figure out what Ich glaub, ich spinne means.


Hi Susan,
It just means "I think I'm going crazy."

I remember it from "Türkisch für Anfänger" when the main character's mum was shouting at her dad, who in turn replied:

„Meine eigene Tochter schreit mich an! Ich glaub, ich spinne!“

Hope that helps.

  • 1618

Danke Adam.


Number 10, hier liegt der Hase im Pfeffer means "that is the problem".


The pictures are hilarious :)


Ja. Sie sind das.


I read the list and recognised most (which implies that the list as a whole is legit, rather than made up). Not all the translations into English were great though. I'd definitely recommend the optional extra level of Idioms and Proverbs on Duolingo, for practising sayings


Hi George,

yes, an extra level would be great. I started a tinycard deck with sayings and expression with the help of many duo users (thanks again to them) and there will be a deck for proverbs (is in progress). So maybe you want to have a look. If you find mistakes please tell me. I'm always grateful for help. https://tiny.cards/decks/2e18cca1-2b1f-4672-adc1-f068e7df0c28

best regards Angel

  • 1618

Can anyone give a situation when you'd use the idiom "Die Kuh vom Eis holen." Which in English means "Get the cow off the ice". And is supposed to mean escape a risky situation. How would this be used? I'm scratching my head over this. (Hey, this is a good English idiom!)


Of all the idioms on the list, this one is definitely the least common, even though it's quite a good metaphor. Everyone can imagine why a cow on ice might pose a problem.
"Escape a risky situation" is a bit strong, I'd usually translate it as "to get out of a difficult situation".
You could find examples for it in every area of life, though it's most common in political and economical contexts:
- A company saves itself from bankrupcy and is making more business again => "Sie haben die Kuh vom Eis geholt."
- A major political party (let's say the German SPD) is losing a ton of votes to the point where it risks being overtaken by some small party. It then brings in someone (like Martin Schulz) as a new party leader "um die Kuh vom Eis zu holen" (=to get out of the hole they're in) and to gain back voters (spoiler: it didn't work).
- A sports team has one very good game which gets them out of the relegation zone into the safe spots, in which case they have "die Kuh vom Eis geholt".
These aren't great examples but it's very late and my brain is very slow tonight. Hopefully though, this will give you at least some idea what this saying is supposed to mean.


Hi Igelchen,

these are very good examples. They show how this phrase works. :-)

best regards Angel


Thanks. Not something you would say if I car is coming. But more in slowly degrading situations where you rescued.


I always understood it to mean to solve a difficult problem.


yes, that's right.


I don't get it. I don't know weather it should be something you tell someone when they're in danger or when you are just escaped something.

  • 1618

It should be "whether" not weather. Is English not your first language? I hope someone can answer my question because I can't figure out how to use die Kuh vom Eis holen either.


I'm not American, but I think an equivalent idiom in US English might be "to pull something out of the fire".


Still working on the cow? It means both: "Wir müssen die Kuh vom Eis holen" means we have to solve a problem before it becomes a big, fat problem, like the cow breaking into the ice. If you say "wir haben die Kuh vom Eis geholt" you say that you solved the trickiest part of the situation.


Hi Cluney,

yes, this sayings are nice and the pics are great :-)

In German: "Nur die Harten kommen in den Garten." (What it means: Only the strongest survive.) Yes, I think the translation is ok.

In German: "Kinder und Betrunkene sagen immer die Wahrheit." (What it means: It´s hard to find people who tell you the truth.) I would say, take it literally. Little children and drunken people are normally telling the truth that's a wise saying.

In German: "Du gehst mir tierisch auf den Keks." (What it means: You´re driving me crazy.) Hm, I would rather translate it like you are getting on my nerves/needle me like hell.

In German: "Zu viele Köche verderben den Brei." (What it means: Too many cooks spoil the broth.) yes, I think that't right.

In German: "Die Kuh vom Eis holen." (What it means: Escape a risky situation.) Igelchens examples are good. You can say this if someone is solving a big problem for a group ect. Not used for dangerous situations, more for general big problems.

In German: "Klappe zu, Affe tot." (What it means: Let's put an end to this.) You can say so. My Grandpa said always a longer version "Klappe zu, Affe tot, Zirkus pleite." Like this is over now, nothing to add anymore."

In German: "Auf einem Bein steht man nicht gut." (What it means: You need at least two drinks to have a good time.) yes. And you can say it to a person when you offer a second peace of cake, sweet or other 'food sins'.

In German: "Ich glaub, mein Schwein pfeift." (What it means: I don't believe it.) Yes, it's a phrase like blow me down.

In German: "Die dümmsten Bauern ernten die dicksten Kartoffeln." (What it means: Stupid people always win.) It' more like stupid people are most (is that right?) fortunate.

In German: "Da liegt der Hase im Pfeffer!" (What it means: This is the cause of that.) yes, you can say so.

In German: "Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei." (What it means: All good things must come to an end.) Correct and don't look up for the silly bad song, you don't get it out of your head anymore.

In German: "Kleinvieh macht auch Mist." (What it means: Small amounts add up to something bigger.) right.

Have also a look here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23908882

best regards Angel


"Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei" for me is a (maybe not so seriously meant) smartass reply th the idea that all things come to an end. Then again, correctly speaking, one of the ends is just the start, depending on where you start to look at the sausage ;-)


The German sentences are correct, but definitively not to be translated literally. Some of them are just phrases (like "Klappe zu, Affe tot", which means something like "finished at last, end of story"), some of them are just meant metaphoric. In my opinion it is hard to translate something like that into another language, so like these ones, it is just for fun.

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