from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Malicious enjoyment derived from observing someone else's misfortune.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. delight in another person's misfortune
Hahaha! I'm the 500th person to list this word.
How does that make you feel?
"My pulled-out-of-thin-air theory is that around the dotcom bust, people started using 'schadenfreude' because it felt good to see all those overnight-millionaire 20-year-olds get knocked back down to earth, and then more people were aware of the word and it started being used more regularly as appropriate things came up in the news–Martha Stewart’s insider-trading conviction, Bernie Madoff’s cancer rumor, and so on."
--"The Rise of Schadenfreude" by Mignon Fogarty (a.k.a. Grammar Girl).
There isn't, but I've been meaning to revive that forever, and will soon.
Wonders: is there still a "list of most listed words"?
From the examples for schadenfreude:
I have always been curious about the German word schadenfreude which is such a perfect translation of a Chinese proverb - xing zai le huo (幸灾乐祸).
—Danwei - Media, Advertising, and Urban Life in China
In this one, she writes about her favorite word, the German word "schadenfreude," and raises a question about its relation to Detroit.
—Freep.com - RSS
Detroit? Uh... of course! It all makes sense now....
I saw that! Just blame Facebook--that's the spirit. ;-)
that a way to be confident!!!!!!!!!!!
Take this word and stick it where the sun don't shine!
You guys make me laugh!
Help is at hand!
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks unsavory thoughts upon seeing that menu.
Take this word and ...
Ask gangerh if he'll cook up some chaudenfroidgeon for you.
Came across French words "chaud" and "froid" today. Meaningful???
a very interesting article, reesete.
I suppose I shouldn't ask why? Nevertheless, I am rather curious...
Thanks Possible--but in the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that I'm on the anti-"S-word" team myself (as many veteran Wordies already know).
Thanks reesetee for the link. Lovely word, now with more meaning.
What a Red Sox fan feels when the Yankees are on a big losing streak
Love this word.. taking pleasure in others' misfortune
Here's the science behind it. :-)
We can ask telofy...
Oi, we're in the area of sociolinguistics here. Germans do have a deep sense of guilt and it doesn't seem at all implausible that the concept may exist in a social sense as they have described.
That's a nice story, but is quite implausible, given that the root-word is "Freude", which unquestionably denotes 'joy' or 'pleasure'.
Interesting reader comment to the article kindly linked by trivet:
"I recently used Schadenfreude in the company of two native German speakers. They were emphatic that English speakers are not using the word in its precise sense. They stated that to a German speaker, Schadenfreude means feeling badly or guilty about the pleasure one feels when because of another’s misfortune. If one has no pangs of conscience or guilt when enjoying another’s misfortune, that is not, they claimed, Schadenfreude."
It's interesting how the comments on this page are numerous enough to equal the "appears in these lists" column.
Those Germans have a word for everything.
How can you laugh,
when you know I'm down? (How can you laugh?).
I saw the meaning for this word as some girls headline a while back, and for some reason i took some interest. But to use it in a conversation; I feel dumb. Just because it sounds weird. Plus most people I know, don't even know what it means. Sometimes that becomes a bit annoying. So I stopped taking a like to it. But now for some reason, I enjoy it.
For me, skipvia, it's just that it's so mean-spirited.
After much thought, I've decided to love this word just because everyone else hates it so. That way, I can experience schadenfreude each time a Wordie squirms at its appearance...
Geez--now that I've actually used it in a sentence, I hate it even more. Never mind.
What is it about this word?
"People" is also the first six letter word on the list. I wonder what the first seven letter word is. There's apparently no easy way to find out.
Good! Let's kick this word when it's down. That would give me great pleasure.
According to wordcount.org, which tracks the most commonly used words in English, this word ranks at 76,291. That's out of 86,800 in their database. Serendipity, on the other hand, happily scoots in at 54,600. Other Wordie favourites quixotic 43,055, loquacious 55,235 and ennui 54,693 are also modestly placed. The first semantically-loaded rather than functional word in the count is arguably people, ranked 81.
366! Gaah. Enough already. stop taking so much joy in the misfortune of others, wordie.
Vote for chipmunk!
The more you like it the better I loathe it.
The more you hate it the better I like it.
A definitive prat-splatting, indeed!
If this doesn't bring on definitive schadenfreude, I don't know what will!
Well. I have yet to list the infamous s-word. But how else to describe the joy that watching "Engineering Disasters" on The Hitlery channel's "Modern Marvels" brings me.
I could watch footage of baggage being chewed up in the infamous Denver Airport's baggage handling debacle for hours on end.
Does this make me a bad person?
I like the sound of the x in quixotic, actually.
You got it, Pro. I was going to say "x as in expresso", but I knew I'd never forgive myself for actually typing ...
I just found this list!
Sorry? X as in WHAT?!
It's a terrible word and a terrible concept! This word would never be allowed on the porch! *stomp, stomp*
(n): a feeling of extreme pleasure or satisfaction
No. 2 (quixotic) isn't so uplifting either. Haters of the S-word are placing all our hopes on serendipity, which is fitting ... but if there were any justice, loquacious would top the site. I'm off to do my part!
"That the report of Sebastian Imhof's grave illness might also have been tinged with Schadenfreude appears not to have crossed Lucas's mind."
- 'Flesh and Spirit', Steven Ozment.
The capitalisation here is just as ugly as the word itself. Common nouns are not capitalised in English, regardless of what happens in German. Pass the bucket please.
Ptero, your failure to list pshawdenfreude will cost you Wordie points. That's a humdinger.
tsk, tsk gangerh! (Or do I mean tut-tut?) :-)
Don't make me do it. Up until now I have not actually been guilty of listing the dreaded s-word (as far as I know). But I'm starting to feel a little like c_b, all this bashing may just force me into a solidarity listing.
But - heaven forfend - far be it from me to interfere with anybody's fun. I think I was just tempted by the opportunity to say pshaw.
Please carry on!
I think gangerh is having a bit of pshawdenfreude over there. ;-)
I tried that c_b and it seems that the count is per Wordie who lists the word rather than per number of times listed.
Pshaw to you too, s-ionnach! We're having fun and if you don't like it you can always take your list home. So there! ;~>
I'm actually starting to feel a little sympathy for poor schadenfreude, considering all the abuse it's taken lately. I thought about adding it to each one of my lists, just to see if it would rack up the count and tick people off (hee...) but I didn't. Yet.
Oh, pshaw to this lobbying for specific words in an effort to dethrone the most commonly listed. This is not the Colbert Nation.
I think you guys are making far too much of this. Being most commonly listed is no more than that - it does not imply, for instance, that people like the word, or in any way consider it among their favorites.
Suggestions, eh? Well, right now the #2, #3, and #4 words are quixotic, serendipity, and loquacious. All three of these have meanings that could be applied to Wordie, I think, and their popularity makes us seem like a good-natured lot.
If one of the three were to overtake schadenfreude, I wouldn't shed a tear.
schadenfreudgeon, of course! Vote now!
Molly's nailed it. Some dislike the S-word for what it is but many, philosophically, would like to see something more positive up there. Any suggestions?
I dislike the s-word because I think it's overused. As we all started discussing why we disliked it, we seemed to have given it the Wordie treatment and it became a sort of collective we-hate-this-word thing.
And never hesitate to ask. No one will kick you off Wordie. (Well, John could, but he's not that kind of dictator.)
If only 50 people had listed the word, I think the dislike would be much less intense. But the top rank combined with the meaning says something a bit dispiriting about us collectively. Why couldn't a word like sprachgefuhl (also listed as sprachgefühl) be the top of the list? That would be frabjous!
I second plethora's question. For that matter, why the hatred of moist?
Yes, I wanted to ask, too, but I never dared... How did it all start? Who found out that nothing can capture a heart... oops, sorry. Now I'm singing. And dancing.
At the risk of becoming a Wordie outcast for the rest of Wordieternity, I have to ask... Why is this word so hated?
I would never wish that on a fellow Wordie-ite.
'Spose the s-word is what you feel now 'cause I did get 'sucked in', r-t!
'Spose the s-word describes you now 'cause I did get 'sucked in', r-t!
Oh no, sir! I for one did not get sucked into that trap! You will see no trace of the s-word on any of my mind-numbingly long lists. No siree.
P.S. Gangerh, you can remove it. Just click on "delete" right after the listing. And hurry, before someone sees you there and adds it in solidarity!
Seeing this word appearing so often in the comments list lately, I've developed a growing fondness for it... Even favouritism...
(Actually I just like to sing it to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus, for some reason.)
Gangerh, you may have just made bunch of people very happy. Since about two weeks after Wordie launched, I've meant to make it so that least favorite words didn't count towards the number of times a word has been listed. And I think I never got around to it.
So this weekend I'll see if that's correct, and fix it if so. And we'll see if the S-word gets taken down a few notches. Maybe the reason it's been on top of the charts is because it's so hated.
Oh no! Help! I added the s-word as my least favourite and I think it added one to the count for it! Is this so? If it is, how can listing your least favourite word add to its popularity? Sacrilege-bleu! Is it a bug or am I bugdudgeoning? Btw,schadenfreudgeon is why I did it. Can I cancel it?
SOMEONE DID IT AGAIN!
Higher than truthiness? I suppose that's one less point for the Hipster-ness of Wordie users, but our sadism is cemented.
It's a reassuring thought!
I must have been grandfathered in, then, thank heavens.
Does John have this on the sign-up confirmation page?
Thank you for joining Wordie, please add schadenfreude to complete the registration process.
See also chairekakiophobia.
Haha. I'm enjoying the fact that you can't, jennarenn.
It is a *shame* that I can't add this word to conversations.
I'm certain it does. It would be just like this word.
Hmmm. Do you think this word, when it lies awake in its bed at night, delights at the misfortune of other words in not being most-listed?
I'm sorry to report that the S-word has hit 300. I don't think anything is gaining on it either.
Here's the rest of the top 100. Did anyone keep a record of what it looked like a year ago or at other times? It would be interesting to see how the rankings have changed.
2. quixotic (227)
3. serendipity (217)
4. loquacious (193)
5. ennui (191)
6. plethora (185)
7. mellifluous (174)
8. obfuscate (169)
9. verisimilitude (164)
10. sanguine (162)
11. sesquipedalian (161)
12. ephemeral (159)
13. lugubrious (158)
14. onomatopoeia (156)
15. love (154)
16. syzygy (154)
17. cacophony (153)
18. defenestrate (152)
19. antediluvian (147)
20. defenestration (145)
21. crepuscular (144)
22. zeitgeist (144)
23. callipygian (140)
24. curmudgeon (136)
25. ubiquitous (135)
26. persnickety (135)
27. cerulean (135)
28. moist (131)
29. egregious (131)
30. ethereal (129)
31. esoteric (129)
32. palimpsest (128)
33. doppelganger (127)
34. superfluous (127)
35. portmanteau (125)
36. cantankerous (124)
37. pulchritude (122)
38. ersatz (119)
39. insouciant (117)
40. inchoate (116)
41. macabre (116)
42. mercurial (115)
43. obsequious (115)
44. synecdoche (115)
45. lackadaisical (115)
46. halcyon (114)
47. conundrum (112)
48. miasma (112)
49. salacious (111)
50. penultimate (110)
51. quotidian (110)
52. capricious (110)
53. nefarious (108)
54. anathema (107)
55. clandestine (107)
56. taciturn (106)
57. wanderlust (105)
58. erudite (104)
59. facetious (104)
60. pedantic (103)
61. akimbo (103)
62. solipsism (101)
63. jejune (100)
64. lithe (100)
65. peripatetic (100)
66. soliloquy (100)
67. apotheosis (99)
68. flibbertigibbet (98)
69. zephyr (95)
70. chiaroscuro (95)
71. epiphany (95)
72. neologism (95)
73. soporific (94)
74. vapid (92)
75. laconic (92)
76. palindrome (92)
77. quagmire (91)
78. nascent (91)
79. azure (91)
80. obstreperous (91)
81. avuncular (90)
82. brouhaha (90)
83. kerfuffle (89)
84. troglodyte (89)
85. melancholy (88)
86. paradigm (88)
87. recalcitrant (87)
88. unctuous (87)
89. sardonic (87)
90. prolix (87)
91. supercilious (86)
92. prestidigitation (85)
93. diaphanous (85)
94. lachrymose (84)
95. moxie (84)
96. fuck (84)
97. ineffable (84)
98. snarky (84)
99. perspicacious (84)
100. truthiness (83)
Yes indeed. And that's about all I have for you. :-)
"one brief, shining moment"?
maith go leor!
Npydyuan, for one brief, shining moment you almost made me like this word.
But then it passed.
Being sometimes a saccharine optimist, I can't help opining that the reason others' pain is funny is not that ha-ha, it's you instead of me, but rather an instinctual, communal response to tragedy: an affirmation that, despite obstacles, injuries, and atrocities, we survive anyway. Laughter springs not from a sense of superiority, but from a sense of connectedness.