in Wacky Word Wednesday

Welcome to the first edition of Wacky Word Wednesdays, a weekly celebration of some of the most wacky and interesting words from around the world. If you love language, translation, or localization, then this is the place for you. Today’s wacky word is: Schadenfreude.

The definition from

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satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.

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It comes from a combination of the German words for harm/damage (Schaden) and joy (Freude), and is often used as a loanword in English. Technically, schadenfreude should be capitalized like all German nouns, but when used in English it’s usually written in the lower case. As is the rule with most (but not all) loanwords in English, it should be italicized.

For your reference, here are two examples of schadenfreude used in a sentence:

  • In a long-awaited moment of schadenfreude, Julie smiled as her ex-boyfriend slammed face-first into the sliding glass door.
  • Jimmy could not help but feel a degree of schadenfreude when the jerk who nabbed his taxi got his foot ran over—twice.

The Wacky Word Contest

Now, it’s not the nicest concept in the world, but who hasn’t succumbed to moments of malicious joy at the expense of others? We’re only human, right? To commemorate our humanity (and the first edition of Wacky Word Wednesday!), we’d like to give you the opportunity to win a $15 gift certificate for

ETA: The Contest is now closed. Thanks for your participation! The winner will be announced on Wednesday.

To be eligible for the contest, you must:

  • Leave a comment with a funny sentence, demonstrating the correct use of schadenfreude in English.
  • This sentence MUST be unique and written by you.
  • To seal the deal, tweet this blog entry, so your friends can participate too.
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Only one entry per person, and you have until 11:59 PM (PDT) on Monday, August 30th, 2010 to submit your sentence in response to this post. That’s only a few days away, so hurry up and get your funny on!

The winning sentence will be announced in next week’s Wacky Word Wednesday, so if you think you can make us laugh, you might just win an Amazon gift certificate. Remember, though, because this is a corporate blog, please keep your entries WORK APPROPRIATE. Thanks!

– The Folks at CSOFT

  1. Contest over

    AS a working guy you only think about my life schadenfreude. You are not a knight, just a performer

  2. Thanks for participating! The contest is now closed. We will announce the winner this Wednesday (September 1st, 2010).

  3. For a few moments of joyous schadenfreude, I watched as my former friend pathetically struggled to untangle herself from the complex web of lies she had spun.

  4. My heart swelled with schadenfreude as Mary, my pamphlet-wielding Jehovah witness neighbor became a target of baptists who’d purchased our apartment building and launched a save-the-heathens crusade.

  5. Though I realiized it was detestable, I felt a certain sense of schadenfreude as I watched my mother-in-law cry over her ruined dress and I honestly could not bring my self to feel bad for her.

  6. I felt a Schadenfreude and guilty while watching him daming the day for missing the train, how misterious to find a reason to laugh inside from that theatrical comedy of gesture something I wasn’t doing alone in the station that morning

  7. I know the public uproar over the Dubai Ports fiasco in 2006 didn’t do much for the United States’ reputation abroad, but I wallowed in schadenfreude while watching Bush squirm.

  8. I knew it was wrong, but the feeling of schadenfreude ballooned within me as I watched the angry driver slam on her brakes, get out of her car, and in her storm of rage and impatience, whip the car door close on her dress, causing her to stumble back, lose balance, and look completely dumbfounded.

    That was fun :)

  9. I saw my husband acting like a monkey and I had such schadenfreude from it.

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