Cool as a cucumber, unflappable — German idioms on tranquility | Meet the Germans | DW | 25.12.2019
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Meet the Germans

Cool as a cucumber, unflappable — German idioms on tranquility

Christmas was chaos and travel, and the big New Year's Eve party is just around the corner? Time to take a breather in the few days in between, the days the Germans call "between the years."

Quiet time, time out, taking a break and a pause are important. Winding down on the days between the Christmas festivities and New Year's Eve rings in another year might be just the right time, too.

Over the centuries, statesmen and writers have praised the significance of quiet.   

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop," is a quote attributed to Roman poet Ovid. 

"The biggest enemy of quality is the hurry" is a quote accredited to Henry Ford, the American industrialist who founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903, while American 20th century writer John Steinbeck felt that clearly, "the art of relaxing is part of the art of working."

The interval, too, is a part of the music, said 20th century Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, and Jonathan Swift, the Irish writer who wrote that famous 1726 prose satire Gullliver's Travels, felt that "the best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman."

You'll find more from Meet the Germans on YouTube or at dw.com/Meet the Germans. And, check out a cartoonist's perspective in That's so German.

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