15 December 2010

You May Care, But It's Sausage to Me!

Sausages in Austria do not usually
have legs, clothing, or, notably,
One of the most useful and versatile words that I've learned in Austrian dialect thus far is Wurst.  As you might guess, the word literally means "sausage," yet in Austria it is often used to communicate that the speaker doesn't care or doesn't know about a given topic or question.

Although I knew upon arrival that Austrians liked their sausages, it took me several weeks to realize why Austrians were always responding to my yes/no questions with the same cryptic reply - "sausage." 

According to unverified internet etymologies, this peculiar use of "sausage" has several conceivable origins.  Theory One states that the symmetry of sausages symbolizes one end of an issue being equal to the other.  Theory Two states that, because sausages are made of left-over or otherwise useless meats, "sausage" became an appropriate verbal response to anything you just don't know what to do with.  Theory Three states Austrians are always thinking about sausages, so when they are at a loss they simply say "sausage."

In order to insert this practical use of "sausage" into your English lexicon, here are some examples of its effective use:

In a restaurant:
Hostess: Smoking or non-smoking, sir?
You: Sausage.
Hostess: Thank you for being flexible.

Going Out:
You: What should I wear tonight, pants or a skirt?
A Friend: Mmm, sausage.
You: Yeah, I guess you're right.

On an airplane:
Flight Attendant: Would you prefer the fish or the beef for dinner?
You: Sausage.
Flight Attendant: And to drink?.
You: Also sausage.

Unfortunately my blog, like everything has an end. Only the sausage has two.  Wurst.

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