Cultural Watch

Word of the Day – Schadenfreude


Schadenfreude / shahd-n-froi-duh / noun


Satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.


It also let Peggy see the sagging flesh under Blanche’s chin. Since her own jawline was still pretty good, she soaked up some Schadenfreude on that score.HARRY TURTLEDOVE, THE BIG SWITCH, 2011


Schadenfreude is a direct borrowing from German. In German Schadenfreude is a compound noun made up of the nouns Schaden “harm, injury, damage” and Freude “joy.” Schaden is related to English scathe(via Old Norse). Freude is a derivative of the adjective froh “happy,” and is related to English frolic, which comes from Dutch vrolijk “cheerful, gay.” Schadenfreude entered English in the late 19th century.