Why does cat poop smell so bad

Original illustrations of our favorite German proverbs

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Everyone should sweep their own door

    "Clean your own doorstep" shares its message with another proverb in this series, "Those who sit in a glass house shouldn't throw stones." Before you criticize, in other words, get yourself in order. It's a sign that Germans, who sometimes treat complaining as something of a national sport, have equipped themselves proverbially to backhand such critiques right back 'atcha. Snap!

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    If you rest, you rust

    "Whoever rests, rusts." You can almost imagine this actually happening to a weary medieval knight. In German, though, the proverb only first appeared in writing in the 1830s, in the age of industrialization. It's one of the rare cases where our stone-aged English equivalent, "Moss doesn't grow on a rolling stone," may predate the German. They're both ways of saying "keep moving."

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    When two people quarrel, the third is happy

    "When two fight, the third wins." This proverb pairs well with a fable. It involves a dog and a wolf playing tug-of-war with a hunk of meat. Finally, exhausted, they collapse - as an eagle swoops in to take the prize. The point? If you're involved in conflict, ask who's profiting. Fittingly, the proverb appeared in German literature just as the country became a nation-state in 1871.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Whoever wants to harvest has to sow

    Used positively, "You reap what you sow" inspires hard work in the name of future gains. Negatively, it can be a warning to an aggressive kid that he'll get smacked on the nose himself one day. For modern types, a more accessible proverb might be "You make the bed you lie in." But today, ever more city dwellers really are learning to sow (and hopefully reap) in their small, organic gardening pots.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Every Jack has his Jill

    We used to say, "Every Jack will find his Jill." Yet this is another case where the original German proverb is more illustrative. It reads, "Every pot finds its top," and conjures up an image of a pot paired with dozens of potential tops ... until one suddenly fits. Today, this proverb ends up in online lists entitled "Things single people don't want to hear." Use it sparingly.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    The way to a man's heart goes through his stomach

    Does love develop in your heart, dear reader? Because for Germans, it doesn't. For them, "Love goes through the stomach." This has nothing to do with a "gut feeling" about finally finding "the one." What it means is that you can win over a crush by cooking well for them. Food was delicious? The love grows. Meal what so-so? Time to move on. Germany, it seems, puts the "heart" back in hearty.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Where there is smoke, there is fire

    "Where there's smoke, there's fire." Meaning if enough rumors or speculation are swirling around a certain person or thing, they just might be true. This proverb can be thrown at a politician or at a film star caught with a new "friend." A more direct interpretation is about cause and effect: Your washer makes noises then turns off? Well, where there's smoke, there's fire.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Punctuality is the courtesy of kings

    "Punctuality is the politeness of the kings" is a proverb so German you could carve it into a cuckoo clock. Except that it's French. Its roots trace back to King Louis XVIII. What he said, however, what that "precision" was the politeness of the kings. Yet by the time this proverb had migrated to Germany, the trait had evolved into "punctuality," both prized and embodied by German high society.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    The eye eats too

    Any Instagrammer knows beautiful food pics get more likes. Restaurateurs are also aware that a dish's presentation can strongly affect reviews. Scientists have looked into it: Increase food coloring and perceived sweetness can rise by up to 10 percent. We really do eat with our eyes, as this German proverb insists: "The eye eats, too." So would food taste worse at a "dine-in-the-dark" restaurant?

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    The world is a village

    This German proverb, "The world is a village," is also found in English. Even those people we might consider "foreign" have far more in common with us than we first imagine. We all laugh, we all cry, and we all want more or less the same things out of life. Read we forget, Disneyland is there to remind us that "it's a small world after all."

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    The last shirt has no pockets

    "The last shirt has no pockets," says this tangible proverb. Pockets are for holding material things - which we no longer need when we die. This saying echoes the Gospel of Matthew: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal." According to that logic, it would be useless to wear pocketed garments at one's own burial service.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Stupidity and pride grow on one piece of wood

    "Stupidity and pride grow on one wood," according to this proverb, which asserts a common origin of the two negative qualities. Those who are proud, it implies, are often not particularly intelligent and their pride is misplaced. The phrase might be lobbed, for example, at the boasting coach of a failing football team.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Who wants to be beautiful must suffer

    Even proverb experts have trouble tracing the origins of this one, but its message is clear: Being beautiful requires sacrifice. Indeed, models, fitness gurus and tattoo addicts are likely to agree. Whether that sacrifice involves physical or financial discomfort, one English equivalent could be "No pain, no gain."

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    The sound makes the music

    Whether you're talking to your employees or your spouse, it's not always what you say but how you say it that counts. The German version of that rather bumbling English expression has more to offer the senses: "The sound makes the music" literally means "the sound makes the music." Can you hear the discordant musical notes already?

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    You can not teach old dogs new tricks

    What the little boy Hänschen doesn't learn, won't be understood by grown-up Hans, according to this German proverb. Indeed, what we don't learn in our childhood is unlearnable and cannot be acquired later in life. A comparable English proverb is "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," or the lesser-known "A tree must be bent while it's young." Let all three be warnings to parents everywhere.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    The rats are leaving the sinking ship

    During the age of discovery, rats inside large ships occasionally scrambled upward if an undetected leak in the hull posed a threat. This led to the belief that the rodents could predict a vessel's impending doom. Today, self-focused people who abandon a company, team or group at the very moment the latter begins to struggle are "rats." Poor form, especially if the leak could be plugged.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    When the cat is out of the house, the mice dance on the table

    Take a teacher, parent or any other authority figure out of the room, and the kids will kind of go crazy. This behavior is not limited to children, though, and is so universal that the proverb exists (in various forms) in numerous languages. English-speakers might even use it more than Germans, since they’ve handily shortened it - "When the cats’s away, the mice shall play."

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    The fish rots from the head

    A fish's head rots quickly after it dies, so it's that part of its body that stinks first. The proverb "The fish stinks from the head" is used when an organization's leadership runs a business or political party astray. It achieved renewed notoriety in Germany in 2000 when then German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder lobbed the insult at a state premier from another party.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    You don't saw off the branch you're sitting on

    Oh, we humans. We shoot ourselves in the feet, bite the hand that feeds us, bore holes in our own ships, paint ourselves into a corner and even burn our own crops. So why not "cut the branch we're sitting on" while we're at it? In short, there are plenty of ways to do damage to your own interests, but this proverb advises against it.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Small cattle also make crap

    Even small bits can have an impact when they come together, says this German proverb, which means, "Small livestock also produce manure." Tiny piles of animal poop are a small nuisance, but large mounds can fertilize a whole field. Similarly, you might not think your old car emits much CO2, but if lots of people were to drive inefficient vehicles, that could have an impact on the environment.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Speech is silver, silence is gold

    Speaking is silver, but silence is gold, according to this German proverb. Silver speech turns up in the Bible (Psalm 12: 6). As for the golden silence? A13th-century Sunni scholar, Ibn Kathir, attributed it to a wise man of the Quran, Luqman: "If words are silver, silence is golden." The legend stuck. Many today recognize part of this proverb thanks to a 1967 song by English band The Tremeloes.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Good bait catches mice

    If you want someone to do something for you, offer the right incentive. Here, a mouse is lured by a piece of bacon ... and, ultimately, into a trap. But it doesn't have to be a trap. More often, this proverb is used in a business setting. A manager trying to boost productivity might wonder aloud which kind of "bacon" to offer her "mice."

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    One hand washes the other

    When does help end and corruption begin? "One hand washes the other" slips through this gray area. Cynically, it implies that criminals assist each other (e.g. a corrupt politician and a deep-pocketed supporter). Used positively, it promises mutual benefit. Goethe meant the latter when he chastised a stingy man with "buttoned-up pockets" in his short poem, "Wie du mir, so ich dir."

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Better to have a sparrow in hand than a pigeon on the roof

    Humans have eaten pigeons for millennia. But in a pinch, a sparrow would do. With that in mind, this German proverb warns of the risks inherent in seeking ever more. It comes from the Latin, "A bird caught is better than a thousand in the grass." Today, English speakers would say, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    weed does not pass

    The German proverb "Weeds don't vanish" is spoken when someone, despite challenges or setbacks, always perseveres. Since the proverb came into being in the 1200s, the word "weed" is meant positively: At that time, just about every plant or weed was useful, whether on the dinner plate or in cups of tea or for their "healing" properties. And in spite of inclement weather, they never, ever vanished.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Anyone who does not honor the penny is not worth the thaler

    The "Taler" (father of the dollar) was reserved only for those who could first learn the value of "Pfennig," or pennies, according to this German proverb. Protestant reformer Martin Luther is said to have written a similar phrase in chalk on his own oven in the early 16th century - referencing gold guilders instead of silver Talers, though.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Beggars can not be choosers

    Would you eat flies as a last resort? So would the devil, according to this 19th-century German proverb. The deeper meaning is even more disturbing, though. One of the devil's names, Beelzebub, translates to "Lord of the flies." The implication, then, is that the devil wouldn't just eat flies in an emergency - he'd eat his own subjects, too.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Bad luck in the game, luck in love

    Cold comfort for gamblers, "Unlucky at cards, lucky in love" is tailor-made for the age of online poker. Many assume wrongly, though, that it's an either / or proposition: cards or love. It isn't. Some German scholars trace the disputed proverb to a similar one in Spain, roughly, "Those seeking happiness in games will be unlucky at home." So you can have both. But first, start with a happy home.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    A good conscience is a gentle pillow

    "A quiet conscience is a soft pillow" is right up there as one of the most charming German proverbs around. Do no evil, it murmurs, and you'll sleep the better for it. Wise words indeed. And very cold comfort for true insomniacs.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Whoever sits in a glass house shouldn't throw stones

    "Those who sit in a glass house shouldn't throw stones." This proverb has its origins in Germany, but little more is known. It recalls the Biblical injunction that only "he who is without sin" cast the first stone. Just as none are without sin, implicit in the German proverb is that each of us lives in a glass house of some kind.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Too many cooks spoil the broth

    "Too many cooks spoil the broth." This German proverb was translated into English, swapping Brei (mash) with broth. Though it's origin is not known, the sentiment is. Projects unravel with too much input, and group tasks fail without clear leadership. The proverb almost demands a bit of reassuring hierarchy - which is not uncommon in German workplaces.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Clothes make the man

    A proverb changed from the Latin Vestis virus reddit, "The clothes make the man" is still the stuff of billboards and perfumed magazines. Still, can a century-old proverb be improved? Well, a gender swap might be in order. The proverb's best modification to date, arguably, is attributed to American writer Mark Twain. "Naked people", he added, "have little to no influence in society."

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Shards bring luck

    Many are familiar with the Jewish tradition of intentionally breaking glass at a wedding, symbolizing the destruction of the temple and good luck for the couple. In Germany, pottery rather than glass follows the proverb, "Shards bring luck." Ahead of weddings in Germany, plates, mugs and the occasional porcelain toilet are thrown. Not so lucky is that the couple usually has to sweep up the shards.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    You don't look a given horse in the mouth

    One proverb that's showing its age is "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." Back when horses were appropriate as gifts, it was considered highly uncouth to play dentist in the presence of the horse-gifter. Doing so would reveal the horse's age and condition (and thus its value). Rude. A modern version of this proverb might read, "Don't google the price in front of the gift-giver."

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Lies have short legs

    "Lies have short legs" is a well-known proverb in German and other languages. But it might read mysteriously to English speakers. Are shorter people more prone to lying? Not at all. Lies have short life spans; they travel fast, but never far. An African variant of the proverb says, "You can eat once with a lie, but not twice." In Aramaic, truth stands, while a lie doesn't.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Even a blind chicken can find a grain

    "Even a blind hen sometimes finds a grain of corn." Today it's more common to talk of a "blind squirrel finding a nut." But centuries ago, farmers would have been as familiar with blind chickens (without the Stevie Wonder glasses, though). Still, is a blind hen's success due to luck or pluck? The proverb can also be understood to mean that those facing handicaps can achieve success.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Every man is the architect of his own fortune

    "Every man is the forger of his luck" is a bit optimistic for the gloomy Teutons. But this proverb isn't Germanic; it was first recorded by Latin consul Appius Claudius Caecus in roughly 300 BC. In English, by comparison, luck is not forged, it is formed - and artistically so: "Every man is the artisan of his own fortune."

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    All good things come in threes

    When it comes to life and slot machines, "All good things come in threes." This proverb invokes the sensation that luck seems to shun us for years before visiting three times in a row. For slot machine maker Charles Fey, luck came in the form of a vision - namely, that he should replace poker-based machines with far simpler, symbol-based ones. Liberty bells still give the highest payout.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    Opportunity makes thieves

    Give a macaque the chance, and he'll empty your backpack. Otherwise he'd go about his business. This conundrum is best expressed in the proverb "Opportunity makes the thief." It's used frequently in both English (e.g. Francis Bacon) and in German (e.g. Goethe). Antiquated, perhaps? No, we wouldn't dare stream movies or download music illegally…

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

    The "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" exists in many languages, so here's a twist. An unconfirmed German source claims that if twins were born during a new moon and one later died in a clan feud, the survivor, "Der Abfell" (close to "Apfel") was granted a year of debauched living. At year's end he had to kill himself, though. Thus he "fell" close to his filial "tree." Sure sounds Grimm.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    As one calls into the forest, it echoes out

    "As you call into a forest, thus resounds the reply." This rather stilted-sounding German proverb has a fair English equivalent in "What goes around, comes around." But where the English is nearly Biblical in its scope, the German proverb deals directly with cause and effect - more an echo than a boomerang. Above, a belligerent wanderer elicits a warning cry from a Eurasian jay.

  • Unique illustrations of beloved German proverbs

    The early bird catches the worm

    "Dawn has gold in its mouth" is as familiar to Germans as it was to ancient Romans. Erasmus, a classical scholar, later modified the Latin to his own liking: Aurora musis amica, or dawn is the friend of creativity. English speakers use their own proverb to convey a message similar, "The early bird gets the worm." In a reversal of tradition, this proverb has since migrated into German.

    Author: Antje Herzog / Conor Dillon