* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we wonder, just as much as you do, what those odd-sounding compound German words mean. It turns out Lael Gold actually knows. Let me say that name again: Lael Gold. Isn't that a beautiful name? Yes, I thought so too.

There’s A German Word For That

By:
laelgold@gmail.com

The contents of this article have been tagged as disputed and may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards. Please go to the talk page to improve this article if you can. (July 2008)

German Loan Words

The following loan words were borrowed from German and incorporated into American and British English.

Schadenfreude 1. Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

Sädensäken 1. Pep talk that induces a devastating sense of inadequacy in its recipient. 2. Any encouragement that makes its object feel three inches tall and incapable of simply crossing a room or digesting pablum much less of ever accomplishing anything of merit ever in their lives. Ever.

Animositätfestdiezeit 1. Jubilant if veiled response to the anger of others toward others. 2. Sense of relief that accompanies the realization that rageful individuals are angry at someone other than oneself. 3. Burst of delight felt upon learning of discord among friends.

Fassbucheraschollsindröm 1. Feigned casualness of social networking site posts carefully calculated to garner prestige for the writer and stimulate feelings of inferiority in the reader. 2. Shame that accompanies the sudden realization of one’s own transparent, pathetic and incessant posturing on social networking sites. (The obsolete meinspaäsenposz sometimes also used.)

Autzeiterunbehagen 1. Pained and helpless smirk indicating annoyance at the inside jokes of others, often masked by an anxious half-smile or uncomfortable chuckle.

Gezelfpitieolimpiadengezeit 1. Competition over who has endured the greatest suffering or suffered the greatest injustice. 2. Conversational jockeying to establish who has been most mistreated or misused. (Events in a gezelfpitieolimpiadengezeit range from a low stakes “Who Had a Worse Day” scrimmage to a “Whose Childhood Was the Most Miserable” playoff all the way to a “My People’s Genocide Makes Your People’s Atrocity Look Like a Walk in a Very Well-Manicured Park” championship match.)

Talk Page: German Loan Words

Schadenfreude a loan word? Not so! The loan of schadenfreude, a German term with very real currency in English, Basque and Danish, was forgiven by the Brandt government during the Nixon administration. The ceremony marking the occasion was attended by Vice President Ford and a small coterie of American academics — literature scholars, linguists and a lone biochemist. — Languagebabe22 12:45, 30 September 2008

Languagebabe, allow me to correct you and fill in some details. To wit: At the time of the Vietnam War, in a fit of barely contained glee at the demonization of the United States by the international community, Germany forgave the loan of the word schadenfreude and gifted it to the US. This occasion was marked by a ceremony attended by Patricia Nixon at which Wiener schnitzel was served. Documentation of this occasion abounds. — Nevergoesout71 20:13, 14 November 2008

Languagebabe and Nevergoesout, I beg to differ. Loan of this term to the English speaking peoples is currently in default. — Frau_online 15:00, 23 December 2009

Please delete schadenfreude immediately. I am a professor of Germanic languages and have never heard it. At the outside, the term may be a remnant of a joke circulating in turn of the century Vienna playing on the name of the Austrian founder of psychoanalysis. (See C.G. Jung’s late treatise “Jokes I Really Shouldn’t Repeat but Find Damn Hilarious” later reissued as “Individuation and Dreams.”) — Germanicdepressive 04:32, 3 December 2008

I suffer because of blurred terminology here. How is animositätfestdiezeit not merely schadenfreude by another name? — Helmut-hed 11:24, 6 December 2008

What’s missing here is adequate context. I propose the following addition to this entry: While American netizens have been communicating in ever more straightened circumstances reduced to terms such as “douchebag,” “asshat” and “netizen,” their Teutonic confreres continue to range widely and even expand their native vocabulary, particularly in the area of their own tongue’s expressive specialty — the description of human weakness and failings including the darker sides of human nature and social interaction. — Liesel 18:15, 24 January 2009

Liesel’s remarks seem off point. Only two of the terms mentioned in this entry relate to the Internet. Also, “douchebag” is itself a loan word from the French. — Spandau_jazz_hands 21:05, 30 January 2009

Words missing? I can’t believe this list is complete. — Soundofmucus 14:24, 30 January 2010

Soundofmucus, you’d have to be totally out of touch with the zeitgeist, a kindergartener with the IQ of a schnauzer, to doubt that this list is exhaustive. Any inclusion of ersatz, German-sounding locutions should be strictly verboten. — Wunderkind92 18:40, 1 March 2010

As much as it pains me, I must agree with my colleague Germanicdepressive. Sädensäken, fassbucheraschollsindröm and the rest are fine, but the term schadenfreude is obviously entirely made up and needs to be removed from this otherwise substantive list. Derive pleasure from the misfortunes of others? Who would do that? — Too_tonic2020 13:01, 15 February 2013

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