sprichwoertlich deutsch

Sprichwörtlich Deutsch Episode 4 – Da wird ja der Hund in der Pfanne verrückt

sprichwoertlich deutschWelcome to Sprichwörtlich Deutsch, the podcast about German proverbs, idioms and expressions. My name is Kirsten Winkler, and I am your host.

Today’s expression is

Da wird ja der Hund in der Pfanne verrückt!

Yet another visual expression. Before we talk about the history behind this expression, let’s take a look at the vocabulary. Hund, der Hund is a dog. Pfanne, die Pfanne is a pan. And verrückt is an adjective meaning crazy. Hence the expression translates to… right, The dog is becoming crazy in the pan. The dog in the pan gets crazy.

As you can see, it makes no sense whatsoever when translated literally. So what does it mean?

This is an example of Germans taking one scene or picture out of a popular story and boil it down to one sentence. We will come across such things a lot in our podcast. This expression is taken out of a story about Till Eulenspiegel, a very famous series of short stories around a rather wearisome character as he takes everything people say to him literally.

In this story Eulenspiegel works for a farmer who also happens to be a beer brewer. When the farmer needs to leave for the village he tells Eulenspiegel “er soll den Hopfen sieden” – he shall boil the hop. Unfortunately, the farmer’s dog is called “Hopf” so Eulenspiegel decides to cook the dog instead of actual hop who then dies under crazy convulsions. As you can tell, these old German stories are often quite gory.

So when a German says

Da wird ja der Hund in der Pfanne verrückt!

he or she is expressing astonishment about something totally outrageous and unsuspected.

And that’s it for today’s episode of Sprichwörtlich Deutsch. Hope you join me next time and don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast either on iTunes or via FairLanguages.com

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Music: Chillin’ With Jeris” by copperhead (feat. Jeris)