in , ,


Definition: Malicious joy in the misfortunes of others

Pronunciation: SHAHD-n-froid


This lovely noun, dated back to the late 1800’s, stems from the German schaden meaning damage, harm or injury and freude meaning joy.

Why this word?

Once again going back to Corey O, this word too was suggested by him and man- what a word!

The earliest account for schadenfreude in the English language was published by Richard C. Trench in 1952 in his book named “On the Study of Words”; I usually don’t quote those first appearances, but in this case I will. Trench says really all there is to say about the mere existence of this word: “What a fearful thing is it that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others; for the existence of the word bears testimony to the existence of the thing. And yet in more than one such a word is found. … In the Greek epikhairekakia, in the German, ‘Schadenfreude.”

I disagree with Trench thinking the notion itself is fearful. It is an natural as any other feeling human being may have and as such should be acknowledged.

I already posted on the same notion in epicaricasy over a year ago, but it is always interesting to learn more!

How to use the word schadenfreude in a sentence?

Using this noun is as easy as imagining one unhappy with the joy of the other.

“Did you see John when they announced about David getting the part? I could literally smell the schadenfreude dropping down from him!”


What do you think?

1000 points
Upvote Downvote

Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


Leave a Reply