des Pudels Kern

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Literally, the poodle's core. The phrase is taken from a scene in Faust, Part One during which a black poodle follows Faust home and transforms into a wandering scholar, who is actually Mephistopheles in disguise. Faust exclaims: "Das war also des Pudels Kern!" (So that was the poodle's core!); that is, "So that's what was going on inside the poodle!".


  • IPA(key): /dɛs ˈpuːdl̩s ˈkɛrn/
  • Hyphenation: des Pu‧dels Kern
  • (file)


des Pudels Kern m

  1. the crux of the matter, the gist of the matter, the heart of the matter