how the sausage gets made

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A reference to the aphorism "Anyone who loves the law or sausages should never watch either being made"; sausage-making often uses animal parts of which people would rather remain unaware.


how the sausage gets made

  1. The unpleasant way in which a process or activity is carried on behind the scenes.
    • 2007, Valerie Plame Wilson, Fair Game, page 163:
      It is worlds away from conducting exciting operations, but it allows the officer to see "how the sausage gets made" and a stint in the post usually leads to a more desirable position.
    • 2008, Arthur S. Hayes, Press Critics are the Fifth Estate: Media Watchdogs in America, page 93:
      Nevertheless, reform-minded media professionals cannot seem to part with the idea that there is a substantial readership beyond those who subscribe to trade publications willing to spend money to read about how the sausage gets made in the news media business or to read critiques of press performance.
    • 2017, Heather Hale, How to Work the Film & TV Markets: A Guide for Content Creators:
      I wanted to divulge not only “how the sausage gets made” (i.e., how film and television properties are actually conveyed through the stages of development, financing, production, screening, and promotion around the world) but also to unveil the wizards behind the tiers of curtains.

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