Aus einem Guss

Germans like to work on problems, whole, not half problems. Work results handed off to the next colleague or department should be complete results. The closer to complete, the greater the level of respect the Germans show.

Products and services aus einem Guss – from one mold – are near-perfect, durable, reliable, innovative, consistent, no surprises, do not require finishing off, polishing, rework. They are the result of individual work steps which flow together into a whole, an entirety. German politicians refer to their legislative proposals as coming aus einem Guss. German companies do the same, especially those who develop and produce complex, sophisticated products.

Church bell chimes are made from the same cast iron mold. Otherwise they don‘t sound right. When Germans say something is aus einem Guss – from one mold – they mean it has been well thought out and executed. It is the opposite of thrown, tied, glued, patched, bolted, copy and pasted, together.

Figures of speech: Etwas dem letzten Schliff geben. To give it that extra polish. Ohne Kratzer. Without a scratch. Das ist eine runde Sache. That is well-rounded, meaning good job. Etwas abrunden. To round something off, in the sense of complete it. Der Ball ist noch nicht rund. The ball is not yet round, meaning incomplete. Flickenteppich. Hodgepodge. Pfusch. Botched, fumbled, fudged. Zusammen geschustert. Cobbled together.