- Sch(Sh as in Ship)+aden(arden as in Harden)+fr(fr as in frank)+eud(oyd as in Lloyd)+e(er as in maker)
I removed this because adding the "r" as in "Harden" and "maker" is only typical of some regional veriations of English. Eclecticology 20:41 Mar 4, 2003 (UTC)
removed 'deserved' from 'deserved misfortune'
Of the many definitions of Schadenfreude I have found none that make the distinction between ‘deserved’ or ‘underserved’ misfortunes. However, a primary, and I believe relevant distinction, is between glee/delight/pleasure and ‘Malicious’ glee/delight/pleasure. This distinction seems denotatively relevant.
Malice requires a desire to harm others, or even a desire or intent without just cause or reason. I think malice is required to differentiate Schadenfreude. If not Schadenfreude describes what the audience feels when Empire’s Death Star explodes, or burglar, murderer, or rapist gets caught. Is Malice required to separate Schadenfreude from justice, just rewards, and just cause? Does a person display Schadenfreude when he or she does not empathize, or express condolences when the card cheat loses or gets caught and the ‘above board’ prevails?
He had it coming
In England (and as far as I'm concerned), schadenfreude means a feeling of joy at someone's misfortune when that someone deserves it. You get it, for example, when newspapers publish a photo of a moralising politician in bed with someone other than his or her spouse.
I'd use it myself when someone was "Hoisted by their own petard", but others can be more liberal in its application. However, I don't recall seeing it used to describe pleasure at an innocent victim's plight (that would be "Sadistic pleasure").
- When a word such as this is borrowed into another language its meaning is often more restrictive than in the original. I think the instances in English strongly suggest that the sufferer somehow deserves the misfortune. In German, one could feel Schadenfreude when a fat man slips on an icey sidewalk, though it would be considered very illbred to show it, but I think in English, one only feels schadenfreude if the man had just been extremely rude to a shop clerk. Janko
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- Isn't it the same as first definition? The difference appears to be that the second def specifies a reason for schadenfreude, i.e. it is a special case of #1. --Hekaheka (talk) 21:39, 2 January 2013 (UTC)