Kabelsalat: When your wires are all tangled and cluttered, Germans will say you have “cable salad”

literally: “cable salat” / meaning: cable clutter

You might be surprised to hear that Salat (just like the English “salad”) goes back to the Latin word “salatum,” which means “salted.”

So, in the literal sense, salads are foods preserved with salt. From brine-seasoned vegetables, the meaning of the word later evolved to the fresh and luscious Caesar bowls we all know today. The tricky part is that, in German, Salat doesn’t only refer to the dish itself, but also to many salads’ main ingredient, lettuce. Accordingly, a lettuce salad literally translates to Salatsalat in German.

However, the word is used in yet another context, which is to describe a state of disorder and disarray. When everything gets out of control, you will often hear a German say, Jetzt haben wir den Salat—“now we got the salad.” This association also resonates in the word Kabelsalat. And it will continue to be a common appearance in my drawers unless tech companies stop constantly building new ports into their devices. 

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