how the sausage is made

idiomatic phrase

: the practical and often unpleasant or messy aspects of a process that are usually not made public
You would think that being on set, and seeing how the sausage is made, would take the magic away for Mr. McClay.Adam Epstein
Both new chairs of their chambers' respective Defense Appropriations panels are well versed in how the budget sausage is made.Andrew Clevenger
Offering up vintage backstage footage of Jim Henson and Frank Oz operating the Muppets feels a little like Henry Houdini coming back to reveal all his secrets. … Yet that's almost the least of the pleasures in a highly satisfying HBO documentary … that wisely places roughly equal emphasis on how the sausage was made and how the culture was changed.Chris Willman

Examples of how the sausage is made in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Fans also appear to have a surprising, and monetizable, appetite for learning how the sausage is made. Rory Smith, New York Times, 27 Jan. 2024 But regardless of how the sausage was made, both his projects have led to resounding wins. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Apr. 2023 In these films, the story of the greatness of cinema is the story of how the sausage is made and served, and even how the pig was raised. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 5 Jan. 2023 For The Functionalist Everyone wants to know how the sausage is made. Charles Curkin, ELLE Decor, 29 Aug. 2022 Do residents of resort towns, many of whom have increasingly been feeling the pinch of overcrowding as the ski industry has boomed in recent years, have a right to see how the sausage is made? The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 July 2022 Regardless of how the sausage is made, many of us are still battling to trust the technology around us. Michael Davis, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Also, the industry is getting used to customers seeing how the sausage is made. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 29 June 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'how the sausage is made.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1923, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of how the sausage is made was in 1923

Dictionary Entries Near how the sausage is made

Cite this Entry

“How the sausage is made.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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