aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,


Rich Lowry (a columnist) was writing about the Democrats' discomfort with the good news coming out of the Middle East, and he used a German word I hadn't seen before. I don't know if it's a real German word, but it ought to be embraced by all us wordsmiths.

Lowry contrasted Schadenfreude (taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others) with (ta da!) Gluckschmerz (which can only be feeling pain at the good fortune of others). Isn't that a lovely word?

German is just full of cool words like this. Some of my favorites include:
Treppenwitz, literally "stairway joke" (the witty saying that occurs to you AFTER you've already said good night and are heading down your friend's apartment stairs toward your car -- too late);

Teppichfresser, "carpet chewer" (a thrower of colossal tantrums);

and, of course, Dukatenkacker, "ducat [an old-fashioned word for money] crapper" (someone who is so rich that he . . . well, you know.

And they say German isn't a beautiful language.

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