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September Idiom: Alles in Butter

Our September idiom speaks of the German love for butter. Travelers may already know that, fortunately, it is tough to find the typical soggy sandwich with mayonnaise and mustard on plastic bread that Americans love so much anywhere in the German speaking world. Germans, thankfully, prefer fresh whole grain bread with, well,...butter and any topping that they can come up with. It is called a "Butterbrot". I urge you to try it first thing if you are ever there.

"Alles in Butter" literally translates to "all in butter" but it means "Everything is great.", "everything is super duper", "everything is just hunky dory".

"Petra hatte einen Streit mit ihrem Mann, aber jetzt ist wieder alles in Butter."
"Petra had an argument with her husband but now everything is ok again."

"Ich konnte meine Schlüssel nicht finden. Sie waren auf dem Schreibtisch. Jetzt ist wieder alles in Butter"
"I could not find my keys. They were on the desk. Now everything is fine again."

The expression originates in the middle ages. When you could not afford butter and when you had to use alternate things on your bread and for cooking, life was not all that pleasant. Butter used to be and sort of is relatively expensive. If you had it or could afford it, you were "all in butter" so to speak. Life was good, life was great, life was hunky dory so that is where this expression originated.

However, there is an alternate theory.
In the middle ages, goods were transported from Germany to Italy via the Alps. At that point in time the roads were rough and breakable goods, such as jars or glassware tended to break very easily. The merchants are said to have come up with a way to fill buckets containing the goods with lard. In the high altitude of the alps the lard tended to harden, thereby protecting the merchandize. 
The goods were "all in butter". 

I hope this will help you remember this expression so if somebody asks you if everything is ok in your world, you could answer "Es ist alles in Butter!". 


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