Schadenfreude

by Joseph Murphy
I was lucky to have lived in Germany for two years, and enjoyed the way Germans combine words to create new and interesting meanings, such as schadenfreude — the enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others — which is the theme for this issue. The compound word combines misfortune (Schaden) with joy (Freude).

Sometime ago, I found a great book that lists many other compound German words. Below are some some of my favorites, drawn from Ben Schott’s Schottenfreunde, German Words for the Human Condition.

Herbstlaubtrittvergnügen — which combines the words Autum-foliage-strike-fun to create the phrase, “Kicking through piles of autumn leaves.”

Gastdrunk — which combines the words guest-pressure, to create the phase, “The exhausting effort of being a good houseguest.”

Kissenkühlelabsal — which combines the words pillow-chill-refreshment to create the phase, “The ineffable pleasure, and instant relief, of a cool pillow.”

And my favorite:

Kraftfahrzeugsinnenausstattungsneugeruchgenuss — which combines the words automobile-interior-furnishing-new-aroma-pleasure to create the phrase, “New car smell.”

If you enjoy these and want to learn more, checkout Schott’s book — and — of course — we also hope you will enjoy our latest issue!
Joseph Murphy has been published in a number of journals, including The Ann Arbor Review, Northwind and The Sugar House Review. His first collection, Crafting Wings, (Scars Publications 2017) is available on Amazon. His second collection, Having Lived, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. Murphy is a member of the Colorado Authors' League and samples of his work can be found at the Colorado Poets Center. He has lived all over the country and admires people who have been able to stay in one place. He is married, has two grown children, and three cats.

© 2018, Joseph Murphy