German phrase of the day: Alles in Butter

Nele Schröder
Nele Schröder - [email protected] • 16 Feb, 2021 Updated Tue 16 Feb 2021 17:57 CEST
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Sometimes, when everything seems all right, it’s time for Germans to talk about butter. That might sound weird, but that’s what today’s word of the day is all about.

Alles in Butter!” is an exclamation that you might hear especially from slightly older demographics in Germany.

Literally translated it means “Everything is in the butter!” That might not make much sense now, but trust me: it will.

Alles in Butter means something like “all is good” or “everything is fine.”

The origins of this saying date back to the time, where butter was still a very expensive fat (which it still is, compared to other fats).

When people exclaimed that something was “in butter”, they simply meant that they didn’t fry it in cheap fats, but in good butter.

Another possible origin story says that back in the Middle Ages, people used to melt butter and put expensive and breakable things in there, for example good plates or relicts.

The butter would solidify and therefore create a fat-barrier around the treasured objects. When the people then travelled around with the objects molten in butter they would be protected from breakage due to the fat.

Nowadays, alles in Butter is an exclamation that is usually used by elderly people or cooks, but didn’t lose any of its meaning over the years: It simply means that all is well.

Examples:

Momentan ist leider nicht wirklich alles in Butter.

Unfortunately, not everything is well right now.

Alles in Butter!

All is good!

Wir müssen das hier kurz klären und dann ist wieder alles in Butter.

We just have to settle this and then everything will be fine again.

 

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Nele Schröder 2021/02/16 17:57

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