Gibt es eine deutsche Phrase, die dasselbe bedeutet wie "It is an ill wind that blows no good"?

Is there a German phrase that has the same meaning as "It is an ill wind that blows no good"?

This phrase, often used only in the abbreviation "It's an ill wind...", means that all bad things have their good sides and is often used in an ironic way to convey a positive judgement on something the other person sees as negative:

A: "Tomorrow, the world will end! Seas of blood! Earthquakes! The government will fall!"
B: "Well, it's an ill wind ..." (indicating that B is quite happy if the current government falls)

  • I think it would be useful if you provided an explanation of the proverb first. It doesn't make sense to me, and apparently many others.
    – fzwo
    May 25 '11 at 10:40
  • The thing is: This sentence is misunderstood by most people nowadays, it is too old language to be of any use. It means: If a wind doesn't blow any good, it is ill, but since there are (almost) no winds that don't blow any good, it is probably not only ill.
    – markus
    May 26 '11 at 13:25

How about:

Nichts ist so schlimm, dass es nicht für irgendetwas gut wäre.

Depending on the context perhaps:

Aus Schaden wird man klug.


Selten ein Schaden ohne Nutzen.

  • 1
    Taken literally it seems to mean quite the opposite to me. But Google is of split opinion as well... Confused.
    – deceze
    May 25 '11 at 7:10
  • @deceze: if you emphasize "ill", it becomes clear. Also, see usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/… "This is said when things have gone wrong; the idea being that when bad things happen, there can also be some positive results."
    – splattne
    May 25 '11 at 7:12
  • "...but this is not an ill wind." (?) That would make more sense.
    – deceze
    May 25 '11 at 7:14
  • @deceze Actually, the "good" answer on that forum questions confirms what I said.
    – splattne
    May 25 '11 at 7:31

In a general context I would speak of

Das Gute im Schlechten

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.