German word of the day: Verwursten

This funny-sounding word can refer to much more than just a sausage

German word of the day: Verwursten
The verb 'Verwursten' has many meanings beyond making a piece of meat. Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

Why do I need to know verwursten?

The funny sounding word verb verwursten (which sounds like this) is a term referencing a very typical product (the Wurst) but with a myriad of uses beyond just sausages.

What does it mean?

Verwursten can literally mean to mix together ingredients to make a Wurst (sausage) – or anything resembling it. Manufacturers of fake meat products can also “verwursten” tofu, tempeh and the likes to make a more palatable substitute for vegetarians.

Yet it’s also slang for slapping together a bunch of ingredients – or elements of something – to make a final product. It is similar to the word verarbeiten, or to process. 

READ ALSO: Seven common myths about Austrian food you need to stop believing

A songwriter might take aspects of a story and verwursten it into their lyrics, as could a film writer with their movie.

Where does it come from?

Not surprisingly, the word stems from the world-famous Wurst, with which Austrians profess a love-hate relationship. The sausage is a staple cuisine in many parts of the country, whether Blutwurst or the Frankfurter. 

READ ALSO: Only in Austria: Graz gets its first sausage vending machine

But despite its ubiquity, it’s not considered to be the highest quality meat around. Like its American equivalent, the hotdog, the Wurst is a processed food made up of several ingredients. Give or take, it’s mostly composed of muscle meat, salt, various spices and perhaps some intestines or other (not so) savoury parts.

Sausages are one of the staple foods in Austria (Photo by Krzysztof Kowalik on Unsplash)

The sausage was recently caught up in a nationwide controversy when an investigation revealed that some Wurst products were being ‘verwurstet’ from ingredients that don’t usually belong in the recipe.

READ ALSO: Martinigansl and more: 11 delicious Austrian dishes you need to try

Here is how it’s useful

Ein veganer Aufschnitt wird von Soya und Zwiebeln verwurstet.

Vegan cold cuts are being made out of soy and onions.

Sie haben diese gespannte Geschichte in einem Film verwurstet. 

They made a film out of this suspenseful story. 

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German word of the day: Bereit

Be ready to learn this helpful German word.

German word of the day: Bereit

Why do I need to know this word?

Because it’s an adjective which is used a lot in German and it also forms part of many other words. Knowing what it means will help you to figure out the definition of other words and broaden your vocabulary.

What does it mean?

Bereit, which sounds like this, means “ready” in English and it is used in almost exactly the same way to express being mentally or physically prepared for an experience or action. Linked to this feeling of preparedness is the other meaning of bereit in German: the adjective can also mean “willing”.

The origin of the word is thought to derive from the verb reiten meaning “to ride” and originally meant something like “to be prepared for the ride”.

READ ALSO: German phrase of the day: Ich glaub’ mein Schwein pfeift

Bereit in other words

Adding the letter ‘s’ to the end of bereit changes the meaning to “already” and can be used like this:

Das habe ich dir bereits gesagt!

I already told you that!

Bereit can also be found in many other adjectives, to express readiness or willingness to perform a certain action, for example, hilfsbereit means “ready to help”, arbeitsbereit means “ready to work” and einsatzbereit means “ready for service”.

Bereit also appears in a lot of German verbs which include some sense of readiness. One example is the separable verb vorbereiten, meaning “to prepare”. The verb bereitstellen meaning “to provide” (literally “to put ready”) is another useful verb to know.


Use it like this:

Ich bin bereit, dir zu helfen

I’m willing to help you

Der Zug steht zur Abfahrt bereit

The train is ready for departure

Bitte halten Sie ihre Kundennummer bereit

Please have your customer number ready