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eierlegende Wollmilchsau

English translation: egg-laying jackrabbit mule

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:eierlegende Wollmilchsau
English translation:egg-laying jackrabbit mule
Entered by: Nancy Arrowsmith
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20:24 Jan 15, 2003
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
German term or phrase: eierlegende Wollmilchsau
This German expression is used to desribe something (a process or a thing) that can do, provide, etc. everything, which rarely applies, however. The literal translation would be an egg-laying wolly dairy pig. Does anyone know of something equivalent in English ? Thanks a million in advance.
Wilestrans
Germany
Local time: 07:55
egg-laying jackrabbit mule
Explanation:
is such a mythical creature. By the way, the expression comes from Marco Polo who brought Silkie chickens back from China, and then tried to convince Europeans that they were egg-laying angora rabbits.

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Note added at 2003-01-16 03:23:53 (GMT)
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A Wollschwein is actually a real beast, an an endangered breed from Hungary with curly dark hair - rather cute, I kept some of them once.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-16 17:29:17 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The more I think about it, it may have been an egg-laying mule-eared jackrabbit. This was from a book of American tall tales I read many years ago.
Selected response from:

Nancy Arrowsmith
Local time: 23:55
Grading comment
Thx a million for your help and comment.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +4jack of all trades
Kim Metzger
4 +3egg-laying jackrabbit mule
Nancy Arrowsmith
4 +3all-singing, all-dancing
Nicole Tata
3 +3and makes the coffee as well!
Klaus Dorn
5multi-mode performer; multi-talented person or machine
Dr. Fred Thomson
4 +1the goose that lays golden eggs
Virginia Puntigliano
4all-in-one widget (or whatever)
jccantrell
4factotum
Cilian O'Tuama
3multifunctional
Trudy Peters


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
jack of all trades


Explanation:
That's the only expression I can think of.

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 00:55
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 140

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Klaus Dorn: but how can we apply this phrase to a process? (which is what the German means too...)
4 mins

agree  sylvie malich: take a look at this!: http://www.leo.org/dict/archiv/20011110172602e_en.html
18 mins

agree  HansBecker: and master of none!
28 mins

agree  ezbounty@aol.co
1 hr

neutral  Dirgis: The eierlegende Wollmilchsau is an impossible, non-existing being, a jack of all trades may exist
4 hrs
  -> True, what would you suggest?

neutral  Hilary Davies Shelby: This has some negative connotations in English - the rest of the phrase is "and master of none"!
3358 days
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
and makes the coffee as well!


Explanation:
that's what we used to say in the UK - "something (or someone) could do this, this, this and that and make the coffee as well!"

also "and it makes the coffee too!"



Klaus Dorn
Local time: 09:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Elisabeth Ghysels: nice
23 mins

agree  Nicole Tata: or tea, of course.
47 mins

agree  Anca Nitu
2 hrs
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25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
multifunctional


Explanation:
would be the meaning, though it doesn't have the same ring to it...

Do you have a sentence this appears in or is this a general question?

Trudy Peters
United States
Local time: 01:55
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 27
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53 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
all-in-one widget (or whatever)


Explanation:
It slices, it dices, it cleans up after itself!

But wait! There's more, order yours in the next 15 minutes, and we will add this knife sharpener together with a set of 6, count 'em, 6 self-sharpening steak knives.

So, don't delay, operators are standing by .....

OK, too much caffeine.

jccantrell
United States
Local time: 22:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 19
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
all-singing, all-dancing


Explanation:
A multifunctional device is commonly said to be all-singing, all-dancing. Some examples:

What Mobile September 2000. "… transforms it into an all singing, all dancing, all connected device. In other ...
www.ubinetics.com/press/articles-ga100.asp - 19k

Then there's the clothing line, the cosmetics and fragrances. The woman is truly an all-singing, all-dancing phenomenon. She ...
www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/ biographies/jennifer_lopez_biog.html - 30k

Robot Alarm Clock. £20.00, Age: 6-15 yrs. If this all-singing, all-dancing Robot doesn't get them up in the morning, nothing will! ...
www.egodparent.co.uk/Parents_shop/ shop.cfm?sb_Id=23&ct_Id=1 - 40k

hope it helps

Nicole Tata
Local time: 06:55
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Trudy Peters: Must be a UK thing, never heard that in the US
25 mins
  -> although it has US origins, see http://phrases.shu.ac.uk/meanings/28200.html

agree  TonyTK: (But back off with the J-Lo/Eiermilchsau comparisons.)
1 hr
  -> you boys just can't help yourselves, can you?

agree  DPS
3 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
the goose that lays golden eggs


Explanation:

Just another funny animal.

Virginia Puntigliano
Local time: 03:55
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Pee Eff
20 mins
  -> danke Patrick
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
egg-laying jackrabbit mule


Explanation:
is such a mythical creature. By the way, the expression comes from Marco Polo who brought Silkie chickens back from China, and then tried to convince Europeans that they were egg-laying angora rabbits.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-16 03:23:53 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

A Wollschwein is actually a real beast, an an endangered breed from Hungary with curly dark hair - rather cute, I kept some of them once.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-16 17:29:17 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The more I think about it, it may have been an egg-laying mule-eared jackrabbit. This was from a book of American tall tales I read many years ago.

Nancy Arrowsmith
Local time: 23:55
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thx a million for your help and comment.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  EdithK: Love it.
7 hrs

agree  Nicole Tata
8 hrs

agree  Gillian Scheibelein: that whistles the National Anthem whilst standing on its head
10 hrs
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
multi-mode performer; multi-talented person or machine


Explanation:
It appears that you are not going to find anything as colorful as an egg-laying, whole milk producing sow.
Actually the literal translation makes great sense in English. No one would fail to get the meaning.
By the wat, it does not translate as a wooly dairy pig. The W should be a V.

Dr. Fred Thomson
United States
Local time: 23:55
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 22
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12 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
factotum


Explanation:
another possibility

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-16 09:27:08 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

although that doesn\'t catch the ability to do things that are rarely necessary

Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 07:55
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 94
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Changes made by editors
May 12, 2012 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
Field (specific)(none) » Idioms / Maxims / Sayings


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