The ‘Eierlegende Wollmilchsau’

2011 post from the German Embassy in Washington:

Picture this: a pig, covered in fluffy fur, that lays eggs and gives out milk. The image you have in your head right now is this week’s word of the week, the Eierlegende Wollmilchsau, which could roughly be translated as “egg-laying wool-milk-sow”. While this little creature may sound like a bit of a freak of nature, it is every farmer’s wet dream: the perfect farm animal, uniting the qualities of chickens (laying eggs), sheep (producing wool), cows (giving out milk) and pigs (can be turned into bacon). The Eierlegende Wollmilchsau produces all the daily necessities and is tasty to boot, it is an animal that only has good sides to it. It goes without saying that this creature does not exist. [...]

And so the Eierlegende Wollmilchsau is nowadays mostly used to describe some unachievable ideal, proving that Germans not only have a finely tuned sense of irony, but are also more creative than given credit for.

Good working name for Elon Musk’s “everything app” if “X” doesn’t work out.

Thanks to Maximilian Mackh for the link. (And kudos to the German Embassy for working “wet dream” into a fun post.)

Friday, 7 October 2022