German phrase of the day: Eine Extrawurst verlangen

Tamsin Paternoster
Tamsin Paternoster - [email protected] • 16 Mar, 2021 Updated Tue 16 Mar 2021 12:13 CEST
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It comes as little surprise that this popular German saying incorporates one of the country's favourite meaty meals: sausage.

To a foreigner, this German idiom might sound extra odd if taken out of context. Eine Extrawurst verlangen, which means literally to demand an extra sausage, has nothing to do with piling more food on your plate or even food at all. 

Also sometimes used as ‘eine Extrawurst bekommen’, this expression means to ask for, often unnecessary or uncalled for, special treatment.

Mostly used in the context of disapproval, an Extrawurst relates to someone wanting or receiving special attention, or who is never satisfied with what they currently have.

This slightly odd expression goes far back into the Baroque period, the same expression being quoted by Abraham in Santa Clara (1644-1709), a famous Augustinian preacher of this period. 

As a sausage was a delicacy for poor people in the Middle Ages, receiving an extra sausage was equivalent to receiving a special favour.

Examples:

Er bekommt immer eine Extrawurst gebraten.

He always gets an additional sausage fried for him (he receives special treatment).

Warum bekommt sie immer eine Extrawurst?

Why does she always get special treatment?

Ich kann niemanden meine Extrawurst braten, auch nicht Kevin.

I cannot give everyone special treatment, including Kevin.

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Tamsin Paternoster 2021/03/16 12:13

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