Just a brief post as I'm running round the country giving talks (Booka Books in Oswestry tonight). I met a German-speaking lady in Edinburgh who told me about the lovely compound word:
That's pronounced roughly I-er-lay-gend-er-vol-milk-sow, and it means egg-laying-wool-milk-pig. The idea of this fabulous animal is that it is perfect. It provides eggs, wool, milk and, finally, bacon. It is therefore the German term for a jack of all trades. Something, or someone, who can do absolutely everything.
There's even a Wikipedia page on this best of beasts, but it's in German.
And if that's not enough for you, you can have a look at my article in yesterday's New York Times.