This week’s word is a good one to toss out at a party and appear cultured. The word is schadenfreude.

Merriam-Webster defines schadenfreude as “a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people.”

As you might expect, schadenfreude comes from German. Here’s an article from The Awl with more etymology.

If you’re having trouble pronouncing schadenfreude, don’t worry — you’re not alone! For a laugh, check out this attempt at pronouncing it:

Now, here’s the actual pronunciation:

But who uses schadenfreude? Here are some quotes from some famous people, since we apparently need them to verify all of our choices in life:

“Since Madonna is positioned as always ‘cooler than thou,’ we all are primed for schadenfreude if something in her fabulous life goes amiss.” – Naomi Wolf

“Schadenfreude is so nutritious.” – Will Self

“It is amusing to poke fun at the experts when their predictions fail. However, we should be careful with our schadenfreude.” – Nate Silver

Such a great word could not exist without music, so here is a song about schadenfreude:

 

 

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