how the sausage gets made

antonio85berlin

Senior Member
spanish
Good morning everyone;

I would like to know what does "how the sausage gets made" exactly.

I have found many different contexts, this is actually a quite common expression as you easely find many entrances in google, eventhough none of them is a dicitonary definition or explanation.

I have found out that when watching sausages getting made, unpleasant truths about it emerge that make it less appealing. The idea is that if people watched sausages getting made, they would probably be less fond on them.

So when I read "how the sausage gets made" in a newspaper article about Barack Obama, or a business article etc, does it mean "toda la verdad acerca de...." or "all the truth about something" or something like that?

Thank you very much.
 
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  • Masood

    Senior Member
    British English
    Good morning everyone;

    I would like to know what does "how the sausage gets maid" exactly.

    I have found many different contexts, this is actually a quite common expression as you easely find many entrances in google, eventhough none of them is a dicitonary definition or explanation.

    I have found out that when watching sausages getting made, unpleasant truths about it emerge that make it less appealing. The idea is that if people watched sausages getting made, they would probably be less fond on them.

    So when I read "how the sausage gets maid" in a newspaper article about Barack Obama, or a business article etc, does it mean "toda la verdad acerca de...." or "all the truth about something" or something like that?

    Thank you very much.
    Hello

    Is it 'maid' or 'made'?

    Without more context, 'maid' makes no sense.
     

    Masood

    Senior Member
    British English
    I've never heard the expression 'how the sausage gets made' other than to refer to...how sausages are made.

    You might be right, though. Maybe it is used to refer to 'unpleasant truths'.
     

    antonio85berlin

    Senior Member
    spanish
    I entered the expression in google and I found lots of entries:

    How your Fox News sausage gets made

    How your Journalism sausage gets made

    How your Blogger sausage gets made

    How the sausage gets made (An article from the Politico online newpaper about Barack Obama and the USA politics)

    and a long etc.

    All that lead me to think that is kind of an expression to say "how whatever thing works" or "all the truth about whatever thing" or "the making off whatever thing" or "behind the scenes".

    But as I said before, it really intrigues me that a so commonly used expression has no entries in almost any online dictionary to explain its meaning.
     
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    cubaMania

    Senior Member
    I am familiar with the expression "how the sausage gets made" meaning "the details of how something gets done which are so unpleasant that it is better not to know about them or think about them". Here is some material on a probable origin:
    Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made. Though similar remarks are often attributed to Bismarck, this is the earliest known quote regarding laws and sausages, and is attributed to John Godfrey Saxe in The Daily Cleveland Herald (29 March 1869)
    Source: wikiquote, here:
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Otto_von_Bismarck
     

    aztlaniano

    Senior Member
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    the details of how something gets done which are so unpleasant that it is better not to know about them or think about them". :tick:
    Sausages are made from the least desirable bits and scraps of the pig.
    Were you to witness the process, you would probably never want to eat them again. It's preferable not to know how they are made.
     

    antonio85berlin

    Senior Member
    spanish
    All right, so correct me if I am wrong:

    How your Fox News sausage gets made: The article probably speaks about the unpleasant details about Fox News that it is best not to know.

    How your Journalism sausage gets made: The article probably speaks about the unpleasant details about Journalism that it is best not to know. In other words, tells about the Journalism making off all the details of whom are not very nice.

    (About US politics and specially Barack Obama) How the sausage gets made: Likely this is about some Barack Obama / US politics issues that you wouldn't find in the electoral campaign comercials due to they are dark and it is better people not to know about them.

    Did I get it right?

    Thank you all very much.
     

    squidink

    Senior Member
    Venezuela, Spanish
    An article from Politico about the relationship between the Clintons and Obama also made reference to that expression, I think:

    Hillary’s husband, on the other hand, has made the most of his surrogacy for Obama, spurring speculation that he wanted to ensure the favor was repaid four years from now.

    "I think he had the time of his life," said James Carville, the longtime Clinton hand-turned-pundit, adding that Obama "doesn’t strike me as somebody that likes making sausage. He certainly likes to eat it."


    I wonder whether Carville meant that Obama wouldn't enjoy the trouble of campaigning for Hillary in an eventual 2016 campaign.


     
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    aztlaniano

    Senior Member
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    I wonder whether Carville meant that Obama wouldn't enjoy the trouble of campaigning for Hillary in an eventual 2016 campaign.
    I think he means that Obama enjoys being in office but he does not enjoy campaigning - kissing babies, shaking hands, being polite to prospective donors, etc.
     

    old_timer

    New Member
    English - American
    Hello,

    I came upon this string while looking up this phrase to see its different usages, and I thought it might be helpful to jump in. I'm American, and in my experience, the phrase "how the sausage gets made" refers to the detailed, often laborious work that no one really wants to do, but which is ultimately what leads things to happen. In other words, in Government, politicians do a lot of talking about big ideas, but where the "sausage is made" is during the times that those politicians actually sit down at the table and work at the mundane details of a particular plan. It is sometimes tedious work, but it is also very necessary and important. So while the "unpleasantness" is part of it, at the end of the day, if no one makes the sausage, there will be no sausage to eat. Does that make sense?
     
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