March Idiom: Seinen Senf dazugeben
The German idiom for March is finally here and we have chosen:
"seinen Senf dazugeben".
This idiom means literally: to add one's mustard but it means or can mean to give your two cents worth, to interfere or disrupt a conversation with undesired input, to add one's opinion whether it is wanted or not, to bud in.
It is typically meant negatively, so be careful how you use it!
It is a very commonly used idiom as Germans tend to love to "add their mustard" so to speak.
Ich wollte mit meiner Frau in der Toskana Urlaub machen, aber meine Schiegermutter musste mal wieder ihren Senf dazugeben und jetzt fahren wir mit ihr in den Schwarzwald.
(I wanted to have a vacation with my wife in Tuscany, but of course my mother-in-.law had to once again put her two cents in and now we will go with her to the Black Forest. Sigh!)
Ich hatte meinen Chef schon überredet, mich nach New York zur Konferenz fliegen zu lassen, aber dann hat mein Kollege seinen Senf dazugegeben, und jetzt werde ich für das neue Projekt in Buxtehude gebraucht.
(I already had persuaded my boss to let me attend a conference in New York, but then my colleague had to bud in and now I am needed for the new project in Buxtehude.)
The idiom is said to have originated in the 1700s.
Germans took mustard directly from the Romans and have loved it ever since. In fact, in the world of condiments, Germans have the world of mustard cornered. Whether you like the sweet variety or the very hot kind, if you have not tried some, please do!
Germans like and have liked to put mustard on absolutely everything, last but not least their beloved sausages. It got so bad, that German innkeepers served mustard with absolutely everything, whether it fit the dish or not.
This is how the saying is said to have developed.
An additional explanation may be that Germans tend to love their mustard extraordinarily hot. So much so, that some dishes may have ended up being ruined by it. This may also explain the negative connotation.