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I came across a lot of German idioms that are based on Wurst as key word to express different meaning, such as:

Es geht um die Wurst! (means: „now or never“ )

I know that Wurst are very popular in Germany and part of it's identity, therefor I'm really excited to know why do the Germans use the word “Wurst” in this context?

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    "Now or never" würde ich nicht voll bejahen. Morgen kann es schon wieder um die Wurst gehen. Es geht um eine Entscheidung und um eine Belohnung, einen Gewinn. – user unknown Feb 9 '17 at 1:09
  • In French it would be "Maintenant tout se joue" – user36104 Jan 31 at 10:25
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  • Where does the idiom come from?

According to this post (sprichwoerter-redewendungen.de), you were rewarded with a sausage at old traditional events! The people used to play games like on a fair I can imagine.

  • Why „Wurst“?

Poor peasants were happy about sausages because they couldn't get the chance to eat meat that often. Meat still often has a special meaning to many Germans and they are thankful. (they should be!)

  • Today

Anyways, I'm sure the real reason why this idiom is still important today is because it just sounds funny. You wouldn't say that in a serious conversation, that would be out of place.

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