Word of the Week: Sauwetter

Nov 21, 2014

Sauwetter Enlarge image (© dpa) Look outside, what do you see? If it's grey, rainy and cold, you're experiencing what Germans would call Sauwetter - a term for lousy weather! Directly translated, however, Sauwetter means "pig weather". Cloudy with a chance of... pigs? Not exactly.

When it rains, the earth becomes soft and mud beings to form. Pigs feel most comfortable in the mud - so a rainy day is ideal for them. On sunny days, pigs would much rather lie in the shade. Some say that the word Sauwetter was a term first used by hunters in German; since wild pigs are most active when it rains, the best times to hunt them is on a rainy day. As a result, such days were called Sauwetter ("pig weather") days.

Today, the word Sauwetter is used to describe any sort of unfortunate weather occasion, including rain, sleet, wet snow, extreme cold, flooding or extreme heat. Basically, any weather that is unpleasant or inconvenient may be referenced that way - whether or not there are pigs in the area.

Sauwetter Enlarge image (© dpa - Fotoreport ) Unfortunately for Germans, Sauwetter is not uncommon in Germany. And unfortunately for us at the Embassy, it's not uncommon in Washington either.

By Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany

© Germany.info

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