Why do spices sting

Where the pepper grows - via “spiced” proverbs

Spices have been with people for thousands of years. They were used long before humans settled down. Two spices stand out in particular: salt and pepper. These two are practically indispensable today. You can find them in every household and they are already waiting for us on the tables in restaurants and pubs. How much these two spices have influenced human life is also shown by a number of proverbs. We took a closer look at a few of them.

Shear where the pepper grows

Shearing where the pepper grows is not that easy. Because only very few know where this place is actually. What is meant is India, because at the time this proverb came about, India was practically the end of the known world. That already indicates the meaning of this proverb. It's about someone disappearing and not coming back.

That's the snag

This phrase refers primarily to the food, i.e. the rabbit covered with pepper sauce. The imagery behind it cannot be understood at first glance. The proverb refers to the fact that a rabbit that is completely covered in pepper sauce cannot be identified by its nose. So the point is to find the real cause of a problem, its source, later. This linguistic image has been handed down from the Middle Ages. So the saying goes, "That's where the problem lies." It is also used to indicate a task that cannot be done because of an easily overlooked difficulty.

Have pepper in your bum

This saying is of course used in a figurative sense. Colloquially it means that someone is full of energy and zest for action, that someone cannot sit still. This saying has a positive connotation.

Ate a bushel of salt with someone

Basically, it takes a long time to eat a bushel of salt. This means the amount of time that you need to get to know someone exactly. This saying was already known in ancient times and there are several proverbs today that are variants of this statement.

Sprinkle salt on the wound

Since Middle High German, wounds have also been related to emotional, internal injuries. The point is to show someone your shortcomings and mistakes or to bring them back to mind. This leads to further painful experiences. It's not particularly nice to put salt on someone's wound.

Someone found it in the salt

This saying is rarely used today. But it used to be widespread. It means that someone has not yet been held accountable for something, that a dispute has not yet been resolved, or that an old bill has yet to be settled. In the past, salt was often used to preserve food. Lying in the salt thus represents a metaphor for the memory of an unresolved dispute. This statement is symbolic of the expression “get your fat off” when it is used with the meaning “punishment”.

The salt in the soup / Not giving someone the salt in the soup

The first proverb quite simply means the best or the ideal complement. If you don't give someone the salt in the soup, it means that one person won't even allow the slightest thing to another.