Occupation: College Student
Date of Performance/Collection: February 2021
Primary Language: English
Informant SG was a current undergraduate student at the Univerity of Southern California at the time of this collection. I met with SG on a Zoom call to exchange family folklore.
SG mentioned, “The context would be as advice to someone dreading an ending or waiting for something to be over. Any time an inevitable end is applicable. Plus, it has sausage in it.”
“Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei.”
Which translates to
“Everything has an end, only the sausage has two.”
An analysis of this proverb might give insight into the attitudes Germans share in regards to inevitable ends. This proverb could possibly be used in a variety of scenarios. One scenario being when someone is desiring for a dreadful/boring/painful circumstance to come to and another instance being when someone is desiring for an enjoyable circumstance to last for longer. In both cases, the German attitude regarding endings is that all phases/events in life have some definite end. This could even suggest that Germans might view time in a more linear fashion with a clear beginning and end as opposed to a cyclical view in which time would go on continuously in a repeated way.
The second half of this proverb helps to distinguish itself as German. Germany is known for its sausages in that Germans regularly engage in both the making and eating of sausage. Not only does this element of the proverb help distinguish it as German, it too offers insights about the shared attitudes of Germans in regards to time and inevitable ends. In saying “only the sausage has two (ends),” this proverb becomes more relatable and offers an opportunity for laughter/humor. Further analysis of this proverb in its intended context could perhaps show the degree of seriousness with which Germans view time and inevitable ends. I am inclined to think that by including a sausage into a proverb, which is often regarded for its timeless wisdom, that Germans might view time in a light-hearted and spirited way. By sharing this proverb with someone who is dreading an end of either a painful or enjoyable circumstance, perhaps the speaker is reminding the listener to not take their current circumstances so seriously.