Thursday, April 22, 2010


Caller: My husband and I are having an argument about how to spell a word. It means taking pleasure in someone's pain and it sounds like shodfooden.

Below are my Google web history searches:
shod fooden
shod feud
shod feut takes pleasure in someones pain
shot n feut takes pleasure in someones pain
shodenfeut takes pleasure in someones pain
shoenfelt takes pleasure in someone's pain

FINALLY-- a wikipedia page comes up. The definition matches because it's something about taking pleasure in someone's pain, so I write down the spelling (schadenfreude) and look the word up in the OED. I find that schadenfreude means malicious enjoyment of the misfortunes of others, and is from the German schaden (harm) freude (joy).

I give the woman the information and she says her husband wants to tell me something. He says you guys are the best! You always pull through, every time we call you! Thank you ever so much.


Anonymous said...

You should know what schadenfreude means. It's used fairly often.

Amy said...

I am not a "know it all."

Anonymous said...

You're a librarian and don't know what schadenfreude is?

It's like a Muslim running a beer store.